The England international's former Old Trafford colleague understands his frustration but still believes that it would be a shock should he be allowed to depart for Chelsea
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Owen played with Rooney during his three-year spell at Old Trafford between 2009 and 2012 and, although he does not expect the 27-year-old to depart, he understands the forward's frustration at his talismanic role being eclipsed by Robin van Persie.
"At the height of my career, I wouldn't have been too happy being on the bench a lot of the time, I would have wanted to be playing all the time," the former Red Devil told talkSPORT.
"He's still only 27, he's still a world-class player and I'm sure he won't want to be sitting on the bench.
"That's his decision and you're options change as your fitness changes and your age changes, or whatever it might be, but he's in his prime, it's a World Cup year, he won't want to be sat waiting around on the bench so it remains to be seen whether that will be the case.
"I would be surprised if he left Manchester United but I can understand him wanting to play every game at his age.
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"You need to be the one that everyone counts on to score the goals and, when he was dropped by Sir Alex Ferguson for the Real Madrid game last year, that would have hurt his pride and everything else. I think we're seeing a knock-on effect of that now."