Wayne Rooney: Manchester United striker 'could still stay'

 

Wayne Rooney could be persuaded to stay at Manchester United despite telling the club he wants to leave.

The England striker met with Sir Alex Ferguson a fortnight ago and said he felt the time was right to move on.

The appointment of Everton manager David Moyes as Ferguson's successor could alter things, however.

Should Rooney receive assurances that he is central to the new manager's plans, he could remain at Old Trafford.

On Wednesday night, a spokesman for United insisted Rooney, who made a verbal request to leave, was not for sale.

The 27-year-old still has two years of his contract to run, although, at this stage, United do not plan to offer him a new deal.

Moyes, who has signed a six-year contract with United, handed Rooney his Premier League debut as a 16-year-old in August 2002.

But the player left Moyes and his hometown club Everton in August 2004 in a deal worth an eventual £27m. He has since scored 197 goals in 402 appearances for United, winning five league titles, two League Cups and a Champions League.

This season, the England striker has scored 16 in 37 appearances, 12 of those coming in the league as United won their 20th title.

However, there has been speculation in the second half of the season that Rooney may leave, especially after he was dropped to the bench for the Champions League second-round tie against Real Madrid.

The day Sir Alex resigned

This is the second time the forward has asked to leave the club. The first occasion came in October 2010, when Rooney pulled out of contract talks claiming he had not received "any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad".

Ferguson said at the time he was "dumbfounded" by Rooney's desire to leave.

Just 48 hours later, Rooney reversed his decision and signed a new five-year deal.

Manchester United went on to win the title that season, with Rooney admitting his decision to stay at the club was the best of his career.

Moyes and Rooney have had their differences in the past.

In 2008, Moyes accepted substantial libel damages over claims made in Rooney's book about their relationship at Everton.

Since then, however, the pair have been reconciled.

In September 2012, Rooney wrote on Twitter: "Everton are playing brilliantly. David Moyes has done some job over the last 10 years."