Manchester United manager David Moyes yesterday avoided talking about the burning question of Wayne Rooney’s playing future, but club legend Bryan Robson insisted the star striker was “not for sale.”
Moyes, preparing the Red Devils for tomorrow’s pre-season match against Australia’s A-League All-Stars, remained tight-lipped about the Rooney transfer speculation at an official team lunch in Sydney.
Jose Mourinho has launched his new reign at Chelsea with a sensational offer for Rooney, saying in Bangkok where his team is on tour that the bid, for a reported ￡10 million (US$15.1 million), was “clean” and “ethical.”
However, United’s longest-serving captain said the club was firm in its refusal to part ways with Rooney, who is back in England after leaving the Red Devils Asian tour in Bangkok with a hamstring injury just a few hours into the tour.
“David Moyes has said Wayne Rooney is not for sale. As far as we’re concerned, that’s the end of it,” Robson told reporters in Sydney, where he is accompanying the team.
The former England midfielder added that the ongoing speculation about Rooney had not distracted the team from their pre-season preparations.
“They’re getting on with training. Unfortunately, Wayne got the hamstring strain, which he didn’t want — you don’t want any of your top players out at this stage of the pre-season — but it hasn’t been a disruption to the other boys,” he said.
Former United strikers Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, also accompanying the Red Devils in Australia, said they want Rooney to stay at Old Trafford.
“I’d love him to stay — and I think everyone wants him to stay — but now we’re going to get asked this question again and again until it’s resolved,” Cole said. “Wayne is a fantastic player and we’re all hoping he stays. Every Manchester United supporter hopes he’ll be at Old Trafford next season.”
Despite the rising swell of talk about a transfer, Yorke believes Rooney will see out his contract under Moyes.
“There’s nothing to feel bad about — except that he’s not here in Australia, and had to go home and get treatment for his injury,” Yorke said. “We all know the speculation, we all know the talk, and that’s what happens when you’re a big player, but I believe he’ll be a Manchester United player for the next two years.”