Wayne Rooney has given a statement in which he admitted that he is intent on leaving Manchester United. He claimed his catalyst for telling the club he wanted to quit in August was the refusal of chief executive David Gill to give assurances that the club could still compete for top quality players.
Rooney’s statement said: “I met with David Gill last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad. I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.
“I was interested to hear what Sir Alex had to say yesterday and surprised by some of it.
“It is absolutely true, as he said, that my agent and I have had a number of meetings with the club about a new contract. During those meetings in August I asked for assurances about the continued ability of the club to attract the top players in the world.
“I have never had anything but complete respect for MUFC. How could I not have done given its fantastic history and especially the last six years in which I have been lucky to play a part?
“For me its all about winning trophies – as the club has always done under Sir Alex. Because of that I think the questions I was asking were justified.
“Despite recent difficulties, I know I will always owe Sir Alex Ferguson a huge debt. He is a great manager and mentor who has helped and supported me from the day he signed me from Everton when I was only 18.
“For Manchester United’s sake I wish he could go on forever because he’s a one off and a genius.”
That looks like a pretty sound move from Rooney in the mind games stakes. Fergie launched a grenade into his court yesterday, but that statement is full of lots of brown-nosing for purple nose. It also urges sympathy from the swathes of Manchester United fans who are concerned about the financial position, the Glazers’ ownership and the lack of big money signings.
A very clever ploy to get at least some fans onside, but will it work?