Wayne Rooney should not consider a move to the USA or China for another couple of seasons, according to Spain legend Xavi.
Manchester United and England captain Rooney has lost his place in both his club and national teams in the past month, with reports this week suggesting Jose Mourinho has told the 31-year-old to leave Old Trafford if he wants regular first-team football.
Teams in the MLS and Chinese Super League are reportedly interested in Rooney, but former Barcelona icon Xavi believes the player can still compete at the highest level.
“With all respect to the MLS, China, and other leagues, Wayne Rooney is not ready for that yet. In two or three seasons maybe, but at his age it is not the time,” Xavi told Goal.
“A player of his ability at his age needs to be playing in one of Europe’s top leagues.
“I still think he has a lot to offer Manchester United but if either him or the club decide not to continue that relationship, I know he would offer something to all the top clubs in Europe.”
Inter Milan have also been linked with a move for Rooney, who in the last 12 months has moved into a deeper midfield role.
The positional change has come under plenty of scrutiny, but Xavi – an expert in the role during his playing days – says the former Everton man needs to be given time to adapt.
“Rooney has always played with so much energy and he may need to adjust his role and play a little deeper, but his quality is still there to see,” he added.
“As you get older there are other things you need to accept like you can’t play three games in a week or 50 games a season, but if you are willing to adapt you can still play at the highest level.
“Wayne Rooney has been one of the best players in Europe over the last ten years – and that has not changed overnight – he still has a lot to offer.”