Upon his retirement, however, it seems he offered a parting gift to striker Wayne Rooney who he signed from Everton 2004 as a 19-year-old boy. According to the long-serving boss Rooney handed in a transfer request to the club prior to the end of their championship-winning season.
“We have refused it. I think he should go away and think about it again,” he stated.
“He wasn’t happy about being brought off in games this season. Wayne Rooney in top form wouldn’t be taken off.”
That was in May. By June, reports had surfaced that Rooney was unhappy at his former boss’ claims and, furthermore, was worried about a reaction from the fans and, better still, wants an apology from Sir Alex or as others have called it a ‘climb-down’.
I doubt he’ll get a ‘climb-down’ or an apology from Ferguson but he has got backing from the club since. According to reports in The Mirror amongst other publications (I can find no actual statement from the club).
Now, in July, Rooney is apparently set for ‘showdown talks’ with Ferguson’s replacement and his former coach at Goodison Park David Moyes. Although, again depending on which publication you prefer to read, he’s either set for talks or the talks are ‘on hold’. It seems we’re still none-the-wiser.
If I had to hazard a guess, I would use logic, firstly – why and for what possible reason would Sir Alex Ferguson, the greatest manager of his generation, lie about Manchester United, the club he loves and has dedicated 26 years of service to, and one of their best assets?
Why would he deliberately jeopardize the future of a player he worked so tirelessly to bring to Old Trafford, a player he spent the best part of a decade developing and refining into a world-class centre-forward in order that he be part of the heritage of the club to which David Moyes, the man who he hand-picked to succeed him, would inherit?
Why would he do that? Some have suggested it was a ‘parting shot’ but I wasn’t aware the pair were old foes. The only vague issue is that Rooney is negotiating a new contract past his current one that expires in 2015.
We all saw the way Rooney behave in 2010 when he we negotiated his current deal and how it embarrassed the boss, the club and the player himself, ultimately. But, regardless, I can’t see Ferguson putting any spanners in the works just for the sake of his pride that was bruised three years ago.
That, in of itself, isn’t reason enough for him to lie to the press whilst being filmed by television cameras broadcast around the globe for all to see.
It just doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t add up and if Ferguson wasn’t lying and if I still can’t find an official quote or source from the club that refutes Ferguson’s claim and I can find no evidence that he is after an ‘apology’ then there is really only one conclusion to be drawn:
Wayne Rooney did hand in a transfer request to Manchester United, which the club refused. Wayne Rooney is in the process of discussing his future and potentially a new contract with the club, his advisors and likely David Moyes.
If the club have refused his request to be transferred then, in all likelihood, Wayne Rooney is not for sale. (At least, not until next year when he enters the final year of his contract.)
image: © Audrey Pilato