Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti has played down reports that the club could sign Wayne Rooney in the summer. Reports today suggested the Manchester United striker was on another ambitious shopping list being prepared by the big-spending Parisiens, who appear destined to win their first Ligue 1 title in 19 years this season. However, Ancelotti has responded by saying he could not imagine the England international being for sale.
"Wayne Rooney is one of the best strikers in the world," the former Chelsea manager told L'Equipe. "I think he is impossible to buy. He is an idol for Manchester United."
Ancelotti's comments come after the club's director of football Leonardo told Gazzetta dello Sport that no offer had been made for Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and he was unaware of any plans to sign either Rooney or Napoli's Edinson Cavani.
"On Ronaldo, there has never been an offer," Leonardo said. "I've never heard anything about Rooney or Cavani either.
"I do not rule out big signings, but only if there is a suitable opportunity. We do want a larger squad with adequate cover in all areas in order to avoid the sort of problems we had in January in midfield, with all the injuries and suspensions."
PSG have pulled nine points clear in Ligue 1 to put themselves in line for their third domestic title, and also put together an impressive UEFA Champions League run, exiting the competition after being knocked out by Barcelona on the away-goals rule in the quarter-finals.
That success has come on the back of major investment from the club's Qatari owners, and further spending is expected this summer ahead of another assault on Europe's premier club competition. Most of PSG's big-money signings last summer came from Italy, highlighted by the deal for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva from AC Milan, as well the acquisition of Ezequiel Lavezzi from Napoli and Thiago Motta from Inter Milan, among others.
However, Leonardo - the former AC Milan and Inter coach - said he could cast a wider net this year. "The market is opening up," he said. "We may look in Spain or England."
Even if no deal for Ronaldo emerges, one obvious target at Real Madrid would be France striker Karim Benzema, and Leonardo admitted he was keen to bring some French stars into the PSG squad.
"The idea of seeing the great French players here is something I like," he said. "I'm not necessarily talking about Benzema, but maybe [Samir] Nasri, [Franck] Ribery or [Yohan] Cabaye. But I do not know if it is feasible and I have not had contact with any of them."
Ancelotti in the dark on Capoue, considers Vidal overpriced
Other players to have been linked with Paris Saint-Germain are Arturo Vidal of Juventus and Toulouse's Etienne Capoue, with the latter claiming he had already been in contact with the capital club. Ancelotti said he admired the player but was unaware of any move to acquire his services.
"Etienne Capoue may be in contact with the club's leadership," he said. "He is a good player with many qualities. We talked about him in January. But I have not yet talked about the summer transfer window with the board. We will wait until the end of the season."
Regarding Vidal, Ancelotti appeared to pour cold water on the speculation. "€40m is the sort of sum you only spend on a striker," he said. "It is too much for a player like Vidal, even if he has many qualities."