• Premier League

Ferguson cools Rooney exit talk

ESPN staff
March 8, 2013 « Nadal 'not confident' ahead of first hard-court test | Chartbeat test »

Sir Alex Ferguson has moved to deny speculation that Wayne Rooney will be moved on by insisting the striker will be at Manchester United next season.

Rooney's future has been the hot topic of debate since his shock omission from the starting XI for United's Champions League clash with Real Madrid.

The tactical decision appeared to be paying off as United were in control, only for the game to shift following the dismissal of Nani and Ferguson was left fuming following the exit.

Ferguson refused to speak to the media following the game, for which he may face UEFA action, but was pressed on the future of Rooney at his Friday press conference.

The answer to the question on Rooney was forthright, with the United boss saying he will be at Old Trafford next season.

Ferguson said: "Do you want to get to the Wayne Rooney nonsense first? Or do you want to talk sense? The issue you're all going on about is absolute rubbish. I have banned two papers from the press conferences and they won't get back in here until they apologise. There's absolutely no issue between Wayne and I. The suggestion we don't talk to each other on the training ground is nonsense.

"He will be here next year, you have my word on that. There are no issues at all with the player and he will be involved on Sunday.

We don't always get it right but we definitely did on Tuesday

"He understood the reasons for not playing him, it was completely tactical. It was purely tactical and he understood that and i think we were right. We don't always get it right but we got it right.

"Danny Welbeck is the best player we have in terms of operating in a double role. We had to choke Xabi Alonso's ability to control the game, which Danny did, and that took away Alonso's control of the game and his ability to go further forward and be an attacking player. We don't always get it right but we definitely did on Tuesday."

Rooney, who signed for United from Everton for £20 million in 2004, inked a new five-year contract with the Red Devils in 2010, after announcing that he intended to leave the club amid concerns over the strength of their squad.

Manchester City have previously been mooted as potential suitors for Rooney as have affluent Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain, with the striker's wages said to be in the region of £200,000-a-week.

Ferguson, though, appears to have ruled out a summer exit, despite numerous reports that the club would consider offers in excess of £25 million.

Three days after his side's European exit, it would appear the wounds are still sore. Referring to the dismissal of Nani that changed the pattern of the game, Ferguson said: "It's hard to keep your faith when you see what's happened the last few years. It's the third time we've been knocked out because of that. It's not easy to take but we're Manchester United and we have to get on with it.

"We now have an important issue of an FA Cup tie on Sunday. My job is to galvanise the troops, who were fantastic on Tuesday. So were the fans. We owe them a good performance."

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