Plymouth Argyle Boss Addresses Exit Rumours

Plymouth Argyle manager Wayne Rooney has admitted he expects to receive bids for key star Morgan Whittaker this month.

The 23-year-old joined the Pilgrims last summer from Swansea City for an initial fee of £1 million. He went on to score 19 goals in 46 Championship appearances, helping the club narrowly avoid relegation. This came off the back of a successful loan spell at Home Park during the second half of the 2022/23 campaign, where he hit the back of the net nine times on the way to securing the League One title.

Whittaker’s form saw him attract interest from Serie A giants Lazio in January, who saw a bid rejected for the winger. Speaking at the time, director of football Neil Dewsnip reiterated the club’s stance that they had no intention of selling:

“Last night we received an official offer for Morgan from Lazio. Having discussed this internally and with the player’s representatives, the offer was immediately rejected. Morgan is very happy at Argyle and we maintain our position that he is not for sale.”

With Wayne Rooney replacing Ian Foster ahead of the new season, the former England international is keen to hit the ground running at his new club. He knows the biggest challenge of his early tenure will be keeping the vultures at bay.

Reports emerged earlier this week that Lazio remain keen on the ex-Lincoln City loanee, although the Italians are joined in the hunt by Premier League duo Brentford and Wolverhampton Wanderers, Bundesliga outfit Stuttgart and Spanish club Celta Vigo.

The 38-year-old has taken charge of his first training sessions this week as pre-season begins to take shape. Speaking to Plymouth LiveRooney addressed the links:

“Morgan has come in as everyone else has for pre-season. He has trained really well I have to say, with a smile on his face, and he’s a quality player, there is no getting beyond that.

“I’m sure there will be interest, I’m sure there will be bids for him, but from our point of view he’s an Argyle player and I want to try to move forward with Morgan. Of course, if you are getting crazy offers as a club you have to look at that, but we want him here. We want him to be part of the squad.”

Although Plymouth maintain their stance that the star is not for sale, reports earlier this year claimed a transfer would be sanctioned if a bid of £15 million is received.

Writer’s View

It’s going to be difficult for Plymouth to keep hold of Whittaker this summer. He is clearly a player who is held in high regard by a number of clubs in the Premier League and the continent, most of whom would have no trouble meeting the Pilgrims’ asking price. However, the attacker is well liked at Home Park and may want to have one more season developing his game where he is comfortable before seeking out new opportunities.

Playing under a football legend like Wayne Rooney will see interest in the club intensify. With more eyes on the team, he could attract the attention of bigger clubs should his performances continue at the same level. It will be interesting to see how Plymouth handle any expected bids in the coming months and, more importantly, how the player reacts.

About Jamie Ward 669 Articles
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