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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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Oct 26, 2012

Hiddink cools talk of Rooney move

Anzhi Makhachkala boss Guus Hiddink has played down the possibility of a move for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.

The Russian league leaders, bankrolled by billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov, are aiming to build a star-studded team capable of taking on the best in Europe.

Rooney, 27, almost left United in 2010 before deciding to stay and sign a five-year contract, but struggled for form and fitness in the early stages of this season, suggesting he could be tempted away.

Anzhi team director Roberto Carlos told Sky Sports on Thursday that the England forward could be on their shopping list. But Hiddink, speaking after Thursday night's 1-0 Europa League defeat against Liverpool at Anfield, said such a move was unrealistic.

"He is vice-president, Roberto, and he can express his ideas, and he does that well," Hiddink said. "He hasn't said it to me so far, but it's nice sometimes to talk out of the blue without any reality."

Anzhi have spent significantly on transfer fees and wages to bring striker Samuel Eto'o, former Chelsea winger Yuri Zhirkov and ex-Blackburn defender Chris Samba to the club, but Hiddink is also keen to bring through young local talent.

"We want star players," he said. "But before the game [against Liverpool], I explained that the club are not making investment for investment's sake. It must be good.

"Of course, Rooney is very good. But it must be realistically achievable as well. As you have seen tonight, I was happy with the performance of some young Russian players, even though we lost.

"We are not looking just for big names. We want a good balance. I don't think the club will do anything foolish. But let's not undervalue Wayne Rooney, of course. I respect him very much."

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