China move would be 'positive' for Wayne Rooney, says Eriksson

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Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney should not be worried about moving to China, according to his former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Eriksson, who has managed Guangzhou R&F, Shanghai SIPG and Shenzhen FC, insists foreign players are treated magnificently in the country and feels Rooney would be able to settle easily.

After making what could be his last United appearance as a late substitute in the Europa League final last month, the 31-year-old revealed he has "lots of offers from England and abroad" and was close to reaching a decision on his future.

Reports this week suggested Rooney was struggling to find a new club, raising the possibility of an Old Trafford stay, but he also continues to be heavily liked with a switch to the Chinese Super League, a move Eriksson feels would be a good one.

"I hear a lot that China is not a good place to live for foreign people but that could not be further from the truth," Eriksson was quoted by The Mirror.

"I never had a problem. Of course it is not the same as Europe and the culture is very different. But if you live in Shanghai, it is like living in London.

"If you want to eat Italian, Japanese or Spanish food then there are a lot of restaurants like that and you have everything you need. You don't feel cut off at all.

"I lived in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen and they were fantastic cities. 

"I haven't spoken to Rooney for a long time, so I don't know what he is thinking, but if he went to China I think he would have a positive experience.

"He has a young family but there are international schools in the big cities and I know for sure he would have every help possible to make him settle. He would be made very welcome.

"The only problem you have is the language. But if you live in Shanghai or Beijing you have a lot of foreign people, so it is less of an issue. And, don't forget, the players get treated well. They have everything they need and are very well looked after, so for someone like Rooney or Diego Costa that would not be a problem.

"When I was at Shanghai SIPG, I had the Brazilian player Hulk, who had joined for over £50million from Zenit. He had no problems with life in China."

Eriksson believes Rooney's arrival would accelerate what he feels is China's inevitable path to becoming a footballing superpower.

He continued: "Chinese football is doing well - from what I have seen of the MLS [in the United States] the standard is better in China.

"OK, the club teams are better than the national team but that is being addressed. Chinese Super League teams are now regularly competing in the Champions League of Asia and doing well against other nations.

"Clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid have soccer schools there now and, with a population of 1.2 billion, China will be a superpower in the next 15 years.

"And the arrival of Rooney will only accelerate that progress."

Rooney struggled to establish himself in Jose Mourinho's plans at United last season, starting only 15 Premier League games and scoring five goals.

He has also been left out of the last two England squads, casting doubt over his international future just one year away from next year's World Cup in Russia.