Manchester United manager David Moyes lost his patience after being questioned about unsettled striker Wayne Rooney following his side’s victory over Wigan Athletic in the Community Shield on Sunday.
Rooney is reportedly unhappy at Old Trafford and has been the subject of two unsuccessful bids from Chelsea during the close-season.
He was left out of the squad due to a shoulder injury, but Moyes said media reports about his training program have been inaccurate.
Rooney trained with United’s reserves this week after hurting his shoulder in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Real Betis Balompie, but Moyes said that was at Rooney’s request, rather than as a form of punishment.
“Wayne has trained and some of you might not like hearing this, but I didn’t fall out with Wayne,” Moyes told reporters during a terse post-match press conference. “Some of you wrote untruths. Wayne trained with the reserves because it was his asking. He couldn’t have [physical] contact, he had a shoulder injury.”
“In case you don’t know, we used him as a floating player, which means he doesn’t play for either team, he plays between either team,” he said. “He played as a floating player, so he didn’t get injured. So any of you who wrote anything else are misleading your readers.”
Rejecting the suggestion that he had grown tired of discussing the Rooney saga, Moyes added: “I’m quite enjoying talking about it because I’m hearing so many of you [journalists] getting it wrong and I know most of you, and I think to myself: ‘I think you’re a bit cleverer than that, you boys,’ but some of you aren’t acting that way at the moment.”
When asked to confirm that Rooney was still not for sale, Moyes replied: “Correct.”
When he was questioned about the wisdom of holding onto an unhappy player, he snapped: “Why are you asking me again? He’s not for sale. There’s no more answer to your question.”
Rooney did not play in any of United’s official pre-season games due to hamstring and shoulder injuries, but he was nonetheless called up by England manager Roy Hodgson for tomorrow’s friendly against Scotland.
Moyes insisted he was happy with Rooney’s selection and said it would help him return to fitness in time for the start of the Premier League season next weekend.
“I want him to join up [with the England squad],” Moyes said. “He trained with us yesterday [Saturday]. He’s not ready, you’ll probably see that in the game. He’ll probably play a chunk of the game. He’s had no football. He’s had 45 minutes against Real Betis in a friendly when he hurt his shoulder. Apart from that, since the day he got back for pre-season, he’s got no match action. So you probably wouldn’t expect somebody in that condition to be playing for a long period.”
“He’s coming back, he’s breaking himself back into the team. It’ll be great for Manchester United because hopefully Wayne will get some playing time,” he said. “He wasn’t ready for today’s game, but he’s got a chance of being ready for Wednesday.”