Wayne Rooney Could Become Highest Paid Soccer Player In The World

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Feb 22, 2017 03:30 PM EST

If the Manchester United player accepts one of the rumored offers from China, Rooney stands to make between $930,000 and $1,250,000 a week in the far east. Sources say that Rooney cannot be confirmed to be returning next season.

Though his current contract with Manchester United will last another 18 months, he only has until next week to decide if he wants to leave, before the transfer window slips away. If that's not enough time for the national captain to decide, he'll likely re-sign with Manchester United at the end of the 18 months.

At 31 years of age, England's top goalscorer has been playing for Manchester United for 13 years. Still, $1,250,000 is a lot of money - will the pull of the massively increased salary be enough to take him from this legacy, and see him playing for a team in China?

According to Forbes's list of The World's Highest Paid Soccer Players in 2016, Wayne Rooney was the 6th highest paid player last year, with a reported salary of $26 million. Let's take a look at the 5 players who ranked above him.

A Look At Soccer's Highest Paid Players

In stark contrast to Rooney, the number 1 highest paid was none other than:

#1 - Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo, a member of Real Madrid since 2009 (having transferred from Manchester United, in fact), made a reported $53 million in 2016, not including money from endorsements.

#2 - Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi, often described as Cristiano Ronaldo's one true rival, had a reported salary of $51 million last year, just shy of the Real Madrid superstar.

#3 - Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, forward for Manchester United, had a reported salary of $30 million in 2016, $4 million more than Rooney, his captain.

#4 - Neymar, Jr

Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, forward for FC Barcelona and Brazil's national team, may have had a reported salary of only $14 million, but he pulled in a whopping $22 million from endorsements.

#5 - Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale, winger for Real Madrid and Wales's national team, also had a reported salary that was less than Wayne Rooney's, at $24 million, but still made more overall, with $10 million coming in from endorsements.

Will the higher salary - potentially the highest in the world in soccer - be enough to make up Rooney's mind? If Rooney leaves Manchester United, they'd be losing their captain and one of their longest-time members, and there's no saying how that would affect their future play. If you're a betting man - say, the user of such platforms as the Paddy power app - you're going to want to wait to hear back on Rooney's decision before you make any major ones of your own.

By next week, Wayne Rooney could either be signed to become the highest paid soccer player of all time, or still committed to Manchester United, his home of 13 years.

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