MLS clubs would be willing to offer Man Utd captain Wayne Rooney “big-dollar numbers”, according to Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson.
Rooney’s form has been the subject of much scrutiny over the last two seasons, and he can no longer take his place for granted in either the Manchester United or England teams.
Reports last week suggested United are in no rush to offer the 30-year-old a new deal, wanting the forward to earn a potential increase on his £300,000-a-week wages with the quality of his performances.
And Paulson told the Daily Mirror: “I would argue he still has some good soccer ahead of him. I think he would be a great signing for MLS — 100 percent MLS would be attractive for him.
“Keeping in mind that is a very talented footballer, who has quality soccer ahead of him, you are not talking about a 34 or 35 year old.
“I get excited about the impact he would have in the MLS more than a guy who is coming in later in his career. The MLS is offering significant money. There were conversations with some guys who are as big a name as Rooney recently.
“Orlando City had some high profile discussions with some players — guys in his age range. There are some big-dollar numbers that have been put out.”
Rooney’s former England team-mates Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole have all moved to the MLS in recent season.
In February the England captain was linked with a mega-money move to the Chinese Super League, but Paulson expects the US to be a bigger attraction.
“China is a factor, but also players need to determine where they want to play and what is going to be best for their legacy and lifestyle – where they want to live,” he added.
“I think America compares really favourably — I wouldn’t want to play soccer in Beijing right now. I am not saying that because I don’t like China but the air quality issue is something they have to deal with in a sport which requires fitness.
“Players need to make their own choices but I think about other leagues being competitors for talent more than I do the Chinese league, where certainly there is a lot of money being splashed around.”