David Moyes has reiterated that he has no plans to part ways with Wayne Rooney, after Jose Mourinho described the striker as a “player I like very much” as Chelsea continue to flirt – sometimes rather blatantly – with the United number 10, who has still not confirmed his intention to remain at the club.
Moyes’s second “not for sale” statement in a week, casts further doubts over Rooney’s future, particularly since the striker returned home from United’s tour in the Far East after suffering a hamstring injury.
Speaking ahead of United’s opening pre-season tour match, Moyes said: “Unless I was speaking double Dutch last week, we said Wayne Rooney is not for sale.”
“People are entitled to talk about good players. I’m getting asked plenty of questions about Wayne,” continued Moyes, “José has been asked about players as well. It’s hard to keep repeating myself but I will – Wayne is a Manchester United player and it will remain that way. I think José said, in his comments, that he doesn’t normally talk about other players. But it does happen.”
Moyes refused to analyse Rooney’s decision to not publicly commit to the club: “I think I’ve covered all of the things on Wayne. I’ve given you everything about his injury. What you must remember is that Manchester United is a football club and I’ve got a team, and this is not about any one individual. In many ways, I’m only interested in the team. I will answer questions on Wayne, but some of them are just reverting back to things I’ve covered.”
The Independent believes that Mourinho’s words have put Moyes into a corner he’ll struggle to come out from, for the “last thing Moyes needs now is a public row with Mourinho before the season starts”.
Away from transfer sagas, the new United manager is raring to, says the Mirror. “I’m really excited, but I’m more excited about the players I’m working with,” Moyes said ahead of United’s first pre-seasom game. “They would lift any coach and they’ve certainly lifted me. I see their ability but the biggest thing is the professionalism. It’s second to none.
“Also, their commitment to be winners, I see it in training now. I wouldn’t say I’m surprised, but I’m really pleased to see how committed they are in every training game we play.
“They want to win every time they play and I think that’s something about Manchester United. The players have that in-built attitude and long may that continue.
“When I first got the job, I was very much aware of the Asia Tour and that my first game would be here in Thailand. I didn’t think an awful lot about it, but I’m very excited now.”
United’s pre-season tour kicks off today against the Singha All Star XI.