Rooney 'wants to leave' United

Alex Ferguson says he is "shocked and bemused" after striker told him he wants to leave Manchester United.

    Rooney has been way below his best form on his return after injury [AFP]

    England striker Wayne Rooney has told Alex Ferguson he wants to walk away from Manchester United, leaving the manager "shocked and bemused" by the decision.

    Days of intense media speculation came to a head spectacularly on Tuesday as Ferguson addressed the media on the eve of the Champions League match against Bursaspor.

    "We are as bemused as anyone can be," Ferguson said. "We can't quite understand why he would want to leave."

    Ferguson said he was told about it by United's chief executive David Gill.

    Ferguson also said the 24-year-old Rooney would miss Wednesday's match with an ankle injury, having been taken off on a stretcher at the end of training on Tuesday.


    "It was a shock," Ferguson said. "I couldn't believe it because in other discussions as early as March he intimated that he wanted to stay, he wanted to sign a life contract, he was happy at the club, he was at the best club in the world.

    "I had a meeting with him. He intimated to me in his own way that he wanted away.

    Ferguson has not given up hope of Rooney signing a new deal [AFP]

    "I told him, 'The only thing I want from you, Wayne is to honour the club's position and traditions and behave like a proper professional and we'll try to see it through.

    "There was an offer there, it never got into financial discussion, but I know David was prepared to offer him a contract that would be difficult to better elsewhere."

    Ferguson bought the then 18-year-old Rooney for 25.6 million pounds ($40.40m) from Everton six years ago.

    His current contract expires in June 2012, when he could walk away on a free transfer. That means unless he changes his mind and signs a new deal, United may be forced to listen to cut-price offers before then to recoup something.

    Ferguson, though, has still not given up hope of Rooney signing a new deal.

    "We still have to keep the door open for him simply because he's such a good player," the manager said.

    "We've done nothing but help him since he's come to this club in terms of his private life and other matters.

    "I can't answer any questions about why he's doing it – the player is adamant he wants to leave."

    Ankle injury

    Ferguson also addressed what he called the "mystery area" of Rooney's ankle injury. "He got an ankle injury in the Rangers game," Ferguson said.

    "He was hobbling about before halftime; he confirmed it himself with his interview with Sky (television).

    "I spoke to him before the Sunderland game and my idea, based on the fact he wasn't playing that well, was to leave him out giving him a 10-day recovery so that he could play for England.

    "My hope was that by playing for England at Wembley he could recapture his form and we could kick on. His entry into the mixed zone (to talk to reporters) at Wembley has created the next stage.

    "He said he wasn't injured. That was disappointing as we knew well he was carrying an injury. He went for a scan that showed a minor defect and he had treatment."

    Rooney helped United win Premier League titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and the Champions League in 2008.

    He was in brilliant form for most of last season but after injuring his ankle in a Champions League game at the end of March he did not score another goal and was way below his best form on his return and for England in the World Cup.

    SOURCE: agencies


    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    North Korea's nuclear weapons: Here is what we know

    North Korea's nuclear weapons