- Published on Friday, 21 April 2017 14:47
Jose Mourinho snubbing Wayne Rooney during Manchester United's win over Anderlecht in the Europa League signalled the end of the captain's career at Old Trafford, believes Roy Keane.
Anthony Martial was favoured by the Portuguese after Zlatan Ibrahimovic suffered a hyper-extended knee during the tie - leaving Rooney to warm the bench.
United eventually progressed through to the semi-finals courtesy of a strike from Marcus Rashford, after Mourinho tinkered with United's formation. Rashford was deployed down the middle while Martial occupied the left-hand side which was vacated by the 19-year-old.
Rooney, who had been striding up and down the touchline following Ibrahimovic's injury, had to trot back to his seat among the substitutes before watching his team go on to win the tie.
And Keane, a former captain of United himself, suggested it was an indication that Rooney's time at the Theatre of Dreams is rapidly drawing to a close.
'In terms of the bigger picture I’d have thought that’s the end of Wayne at Manchester United,' Keane said on ITV's Europa League highlights show.
'He will obviously contribute until the end of the season because of injuries.
'But he must be fuming not to be brought on. I think that’s the final nail in the coffin for him, definitely.
'Leading scorer at the club, I’d expect him to be fuming, if he’s not fuming then he’s obviously lost the eye of the tiger. He must be like a mad man tonight, he must be.'
The 31-year-old has started only 18 of his 30 appearances this season after slipping down the pecking order.
Ibrahimovic has been prolific all season while Rashford has shown the kind of goalscoring form of late which catapulted him into the limelight last year.
Which could leave Rooney, who is the highest-paid player at United, seeking a new club come the summer if Keane's hypothesis is to be believed.