By Nick Harris
19 October 2010
Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed first-hand that Wayne Rooney has told the club he wants to quit, and that he has known since August, and that Rooney has reiterated his position since.
In an interview with MUTV, Ferguson said talks about a contract extension had begun before the World Cup and were meant to continue afterwards. But on 14 August, United’s chief executive David Gill told Ferguson that Rooney wasn’t minded to sign a new contract beyond the one signed in November 2006 that takes him to summer 2012.
“I was dumbfounded,” Ferguson says. “Only months before he was saying he was at the greatest club in the world. I asked to have a meeting with the boy. He reiterated what his agent said, that he wanted to go.”
Ferguson says he has not had a falling out with Rooney, who was taken away on a stretcher from United training this morning with an injury to his ankle. United face Bursaspor is the Champions League tomorrow. (Transcript of MUTV interview here.)
As sportingintelligence revealed yesterday, Rooney’s position in demanding a move has been strengthened because he can walk out on United next summer, under the terms of Article 17 of Fifa’s transfer laws, for a relatively small sum certain to be much lower than his market value.
Ferguson today separately told a news conference ahead of the European match: “We are as bemused as anyone can be, we can’t quite understand why he would want to leave . . . I feel that we still have to keep the door open for him, especially as he’s such a good player.
“We’ve done nothing but help him since he’s been at this club. We’re as bemused as anyone can be and can’t understand why he would want to leave.”