Fergie: Rooney a troubled soul
Cape Town - Alex Ferguson believes Wayne Rooney has been a troubled soul, according to a report in The Sun.
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Manchester United boss Ferguson is giving Rooney a rest after the player threatened to quit the club.
Rooney has gone from Player of the Year, to a flop for England and United and a figure of shame for his reported dalliance with a prostitute.
And Ferguson said: "I don't know the reason for his loss of form because it started in the World Cup.
"Whether some clubs have been filling his head in that period to affect him we don't know.
"The important thing is for us to put it behind us. But certainly something has been troubling him."
Asked if the contract saga was it, he replied: "I think that this has been preying on his mind."
Neighbours Manchester City were close to snatching United's most prized asset, causing Reds fans to issue death threats to Rooney with a group in hoods going to his house.
Ferguson believes the weight of feeling against Rooney forced a U-turn as he finally signed a new five-year contract worth £250 000 a week.
Ferguson said: "Nobody enjoys that sort of attention. When he saw the impact his decision made it took him aback and he had a rethink."
United have won three games on the trot since Rooney threatened to quit, and Ferguson said the whole saga has actually brought the club together.
He said: "This could have exactly the galvanising effect we need, that pulls everyone together."
There seems confusion over when Rooney will return. Ferguson added: "Yes he's ready to come back. Well, it'll be three weeks before he returns."