Portland owner Merritt Paulson
told British journalists on an MLS press tour in Seattle that the league was interested in signing England captain Wayne Rooney
. The Daily Mirror quoted Paulson
as saying MLS was "offering significant money" for Rooney, who turns 31 in
October, and "big-dollar numbers" had been thrown out for players in his age range.
Despite the increased offers being made by Chinese clubs, Paulson said MLS was attractive for players
seeking to finish out their careers: “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.
“I think America compares really favorably — 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.
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
that he was responding to a question about whether he thought Rooney would be
a good signing for MLS.