Real Madrid and Barcelona don't want Wayne Rooney, says Guillem Balague
Real Madrid and Barcelona are not interested in a deal for Wayne Rooney, Guillem Balague told Revista.
Last Updated: 15/03/13 1:32pm
England star Rooney's future at Manchester United has come under scrutiny after he was surprisingly omitted from Sir Alex Ferguson's starting line-up for the second leg of the club's Champions League tie against Jose Mourinho's Real.
But Balague says the 27-year-old is unlikely to move to La Liga as the division's top two clubs do not feel the Liverpool-born forward offers enough in high-profile encounters.
"Real Madrid and Barcelona do not think Rooney is on the market and expect him to stay at Old Trafford longer than Sir Alex Ferguson," said the Spanish-football journalist.
"But they are also not interested in him because they don't think he fits what they are looking for; the perception is that he is very much an English player that fits a certain mould.
"I think there is more to him than that but the impression from Real and Barca is that if there is a bigger player in the team he can disappear, and that in big games he doesn't always do the job that is required of him."
Diego Lopez played a pivotal role in Real's defeat of United in their last-16 match, making a string of eye-catching saves to keep the Red Devils at bay.
That prompted Ferguson to claim that the erstwhile Villarreal and Sevilla stopper, now in his second spell with the Bernabeu club, is a better goalkeeper than regular Los Blancos number one, Iker Casillas.
Balague says Casillas, who is recovering from a hand injury, now expects to be on the sidelines for the rest of the campaign, but former Valencia and Liverpool assistant boss Pako Ayesteran says the 31-year-old should regain his place between the Real sticks.
"Casillas is one of the best goalkeepers in the world," he said.
"The saves that Diego Lopez made (against United) were typical saves and in terms of power, technique, and agility I think Casillas is better than Lopez. You cannot compare someone who has played well in two games to someone who has played well in 600."
Runaway La Liga leaders Barcelona, meanwhile, recorded a 2-0 win over rock-bottom Deportivo at the weekend, with former Arsenal man Cesc Fabregas playing for 75 minutes before being replaced by Sergio Busquets.
But Ayesteran feels the presence of Camp Nou stalwarts Xavi and Andres Iniesta will make it difficult for the midfielder to claim a regular place in the Catalan club's engine room.
"Barcelona's style calls for specific positions and they play with a holding midfielder in Busquets, two players in the (central) channel, normally Iniesta and Xavi, and two players wide who run in behind and create superiority," added Ayesteran.
"Cesc has the qualities to play inside but if he plays there you cannot play Iniesta and Xavi, while when they have tried to play Fabregas on the left he has come inside and left Barca with no width.
"You cannot use too many players with the same characteristics and (Xavi and Iniesta) are in front of (Fabregas)."