English Premiership

Moyes: Rooney not for sale

2013-07-05 19:09
David Moyes (AFP)

Manchester - New Manchester United manager David Moyes has insisted that Wayne Rooney is not for sale as he faced the world's media on Friday for the first time since his appointment as the successor to Alex Ferguson.

Moyes is adamant that the striker, who Ferguson claimed had requested a transfer before the end of last season, will not be leaving the club, but he stopped short of confirming that the England international had declared an intention to stay.

The Scot said that he had spoken to Rooney since he returned for pre-season training on Wednesday, but he would not reveal what was said during their conversations.

"I have had opportunities to speak to him," Moyes told reporters at Old Trafford. "Wayne is not for sale. He's a Manchester United player and will remain a Manchester United player.

"He is training really well, he is coming back in good shape and I am looking forward to working with him.

"We have spoken several times and as far as I've seen it, what has happened is gone. I've seen a glint in his eye, he looks happy and he looks like he is going to knuckle down.

"I do not know what those two gentlemen said -- Sir Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney. That conversation was private and as far as I am concerned, I am looking forward to working with Wayne."

Asked if Rooney had categorically committed himself to United, Moyes replied: "I can categorically tell you that Wayne Rooney has trained fantastically well since I've been here. Wayne won't be sold by Manchester United."

United captain Nemanja Vidic, who was also present, said he had not discussed Rooney's position with his team-mate but claimed the 27-year-old England striker was in excellent physical condition.

"I did not talk to him about his future. He is in the best shape of the last five years," Vidic said.

Moyes also spoke about the moment Ferguson revealed to him in private that he was to become the next United manager, just a week before the long-serving coach announced he was retiring from management after 26 and a half record-breaking years at Old Trafford.

"I am incredibly privileged to be given the opportunity and grateful to Alex Ferguson and the board for making it happen," he said.

"It was a strange situation. I had no idea whatsoever. I knew nothing until he gave me a call and asked me to come to his house. I was expecting him to tell me he was coming in for one of my (Everton) players.

"The first thing he said was, 'I'm retiring,' and his next words were: 'You're the next Manchester United manager.' I did not get a chance to say yes or no -- I was told I was the next United manager and that was enough.

"I was incredibly privileged. The blood drained from my face, more from shock about him retiring than anything else.

"I know what I've got and I know the job in hand, but I am sure when Alex Ferguson took over, he knew the job in hand too. But he has left me a squad that is capable of winning the Premier League title."

Moyes added that he hopes Ferguson will be in attendance at United's games and revealed that he has already spoken to him at length since his appointment for guidance.

"I hope he is sitting in the directors' box," Moyes said. "I have already called him two or three times for some advice. He will be there for advice, he's not there to pressure me."

The new manager also admitted that he had asked former first-team coach Rene Meulensteen to stay at the club, only for the Dutchman to opt to leave.

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