Peter Crouch explains how Wayne Rooney scuppered his own MLS transfer


Peter Crouch has revealed he was set for a career swansong in the MLS – until Wayne Rooney scuppered his chances of a switch to the States.

The former Liverpool and Tottenham striker was coming to the end of his contract with Stoke when his agent informed him of interest from DC United.

Crouch was already into his twilight years when he was told about the prospect of a move abroad, having played his entire career in England.

But it seems DC United instead opted to move for Crouch’s ex-England teammate Rooney, ending all hopes of a glamorous finale.

Asked if he had ever received offers from abroad, Crouch told The Mail : “Sydney FC made an approach late in my career. I liked the idea of living in Australia but it never materialised.

Crouch says he was destined for MLS move until DC United signed Rooney instead
Crouch says he was destined for MLS move until DC United signed Rooney instead

“When I was at Liverpool, Villarreal were interested and Pepe Reina told me it would be a good move (maybe he knew Fernando Torres was on his way!). Sampdoria and Genoa were both possibilities at one stage, too, as was DC United.

“My agent told me there was a three-year deal to live in Washington; Abbey liked the possibility of living in Washington and it was going to be all systems go.

“There was one caveat. ‘They are thinking of signing Wayne Rooney,’ I was told.

“‘They’ll never get him,’ I thought. Next thing I knew, Wayne was in Washington and I was destined to stay at home.”

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Crouch instead extended his stay at Stoke by a further year, though ended that final season at Burnley after transferring in January.

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He retired at the end of the season, while Rooney lit up the MLS, scoring 23 goals in 49 appearances.

Though sadly for Crouch, Rooney failed to see out his DC contract.

Rooney had penned a three-and-a-half year deal with DC, but cut his time in America short to return to England in a player-coach role with Championship side Derby.

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