Michael Owen believes that there are "only half a dozen teams" which Wayne Rooney could join should he leave Manchester United as speculation grows around his future at Old Trafford.
Rooney was a surprise omission from the United line-up for Tuesday's Champions League last-16 second-leg against Real Madrid, a match which ended in the Red Devils losing on the night to send them out of the competition 3-2 on aggregate.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson explained the decision to leave Rooney on the bench as a tactical one, and the move certainly looked like paying off as United led 1-0 on the night before Nani's red card allowed Real to overturn their hosts and progress into the quarter-finals.
ESPN understands that United are now willing to listen to offers for the 27-year-old, who joined from Everton for £20 million in 2004, as he is no longer the focal point of the side's attack due to Robin van Persie's arrival last summer.
Stoke City striker Owen, who has played alongside Rooney for United and England, believes that only a handful of clubs in Europe would be able to take on one of Europe's highest-paid players and satisfy his ambitions should United decide to sell him.
“Sometimes when you’re at the level he is at you don’t have many options," Own told talkSPORT. “If you’re a mediocre player you have 20 teams in England and aboard that you can move to.
“If Wayne Rooney moves, where does he go to? Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Man City, Chelsea and PSG, there’s only half a dozen teams. PSG is probably the best shout."
However, Owen insisted that talk of his former team-mate being sold off may well be premature.
"It's just speculation though," he added. "He's been dropped for one game and I'm sure he'll bounce back. He's certainly got the right attitude and ability to get back into the manager's thoughts."