Wayne Rooney will stay at Manchester United - Ferguson


Sir Alex Ferguson has promised that Wayne Rooney will still be a Manchester United player next season.

The England striker, 27, was dropped by Ferguson for Tuesday's round of 16 tie second leg against Real Madrid, with Danny Welbeck preferred.

This led to widespread reports in Thursday's national newspapers that the England striker would be sold by United in the summer.

"He'll be here next year," Ferguson said. "You can have my word on that."

Rooney at Man Utd

His overall tally since moving to Old Trafford in 2004 stands at 166 goals in 343 games, while he has scored 33 times in 79 England internationals.

Ferguson was also speaking for the first time about Nani's controversial sending off in the 3-2 aggregate loss to Madrid. "This is the third time we've been knocked out by the referee's decision, it's not easy to take," he said.

Rooney, who reportedly earns £250,000 a week, had been linked with a transfer to a number of clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain.

But Ferguson said: "There is no issue between myself and Wayne Rooney. To suggest we don't talk is nonsense.

"He understood the reasons completely. Tactically we got it right. We don't always but we did then.

"Welbeck is the best player we have in terms of operating a double role. We had to chalk out Xabi Alonso's ability to control the game, which he did, and also his ability to go further forward as an attacking player.

"I left out Shinji Kagawa after he scored a hat-trick. I thought I would get more stick for that."

What Ferguson said

Sir Alex Ferguson

After winning the Champions League in 1999 with two late goals: "I can't believe it. I can't believe it. Football. Bloody hell."

On Real Madrid's interest in Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008: "Do you think I would enter into a contract with that mob? Absolutely no chance. I would not sell them a virus."

Before playing Inter Milan in the Champions League in 1999: "When an Italian tells me it's pasta on the plate, I check under the sauce to make sure. They are the inventors of the smokescreen."

Talking about the tight title race with Arsenal in 2003: "It's getting tickly now - squeaky-bum time, I call it."

Responding to then-Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez's 'facts' outburst in 2009: "I think he was an angry man. He must have been disturbed for some reason."

On the challenge posed by Manchester City in 2009: "Sometimes you have a noisy neighbour. You cannot do anything about that. You just have to get on with your life, put your television on and turn it up a bit louder."

Ferguson, who revealed he had banned The Daily Mail and The Independent newspapers "until they apologise" for the Rooney story, said the striker would be involved against Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday.

However, he declined to say if he would start.

"Why should I help anyone by telling them my team? We don't do that," Ferguson said. "But Wayne does need a lot of football. He has always been that type."

Rooney has scored 14 goals this season from 24 starts and five substitute appearances. According to statisticians Opta, his scoring and assist rate of 0.92 per Premier League/Champions League game is equal to his best-ever season.

The United manager had declined to speak to the media immediately after the Real Madrid game as he was "distraught".

On the touchline he appeared furious at Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir for sending off Nani for a high challenge on Real's Alvaro Arbeloa on 56 minutes. At that point United were leading 1-0 through Sergio Ramos's own goal. Within 13 minutes United were 2-1 down.

"It is hard to keep your faith when you have things like that," Ferguson said.

"But in the cold light of day, we have to get on with it. Nothing can be done. This is another day in the history of our club - not a good day, but a day.

"We must galvanise the troops and our support: we owe them a good performance on Sunday.

"It's a quarter-final tie, it's at home and I always say if it is at home we're happy."

Cakir has sent off seven players from English teams, but never one against them.

"I was concerned. I said that to my staff," Ferguson added. "I had a big worry about it but it is gone now. There is nothing we can do about it."

Uefa is taking action against United for Ferguson's "non-fulfilment of post-match media obligations" at Old Trafford, as well as the fact that the required two players did not talk the media.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini said he did not think Rooney would leave United in the summer.

"I think that Rooney is one of the best strikers in Europe but I think it is difficult he can leave Man United - I don't think [so]," said the Italian.