at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
London – Wayne Rooney will have to submit a written transfer request if he wants to leave Manchester United.
The Old Trafford forward returned to training on Wednesday with his future still up in the air. It is understood he did not have a specific meeting with new manager David Moyes about his situation. That may happen at the club’s Carrington training centre on Thursday. The two men did speak but not for long and United’s stance on him remains unchanged.
They say the England forward is not for sale. Having knocked back a speculative enquiry from Barclays Premier League rivals Arsenal last week, United have not had any contact from one of the few clubs that could afford Rooney.
The only way the situation will change is if the player decides to force the issue. Sportsmail revealed at the end of last season that Rooney had suggested to previous United manager Sir Alex Ferguson that a move may be in his best interests.
A written request would mean Rooney would write off any money owed on the two remaining years of his £250,000-a-week contract.
Moyes, still keen to recruit former United defender Phil Neville to his backroom staff, hopes Rooney will agree to stay but knows that is not certain, even though, at the start of the summer, the former Everton forward was understood to be prepared for a new start under the manager who nurtured him at Goodison Park.
With Moyes due to speak to the media for the first time tomorrow, clarification could come soon.
Rooney is known to want some words of conciliation from the club in the wake of last season’s rancour in order to protect him from a backlash from supporters. He may well get that from Moyes and new chief executive Ed Woodward when United leave on a pre-season tour next week.
If Rooney does decide to stay, though, the issue of a new contract could prove tricky. With two years left on his deal, he will have to sign a new one by the halfway point of next season if United want to protect his value in the transfer market.
However, the club are keen to see how he performs before opening talks and it is unlikely he will be offered the same lucrative terms.
Meanwhile, Rooney’s former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo continues to keep his options open in the face of interest from United. The Real Madrid forward admitted yesterday he wants to return to the Premier League but did not say when.
Ronaldo said: “I really miss English football. For me it was one of the best years in my career when I was there at Manchester United. It is the club still in my heart. I really miss it. But now my life is in Spain. I’m enjoying playing there too. The future we never know.” – Daily Mail