SIR Alex Ferguson has vowed Wayne Rooney will still be at Manchester United next season – and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini agrees.
Ferguson [before taking any questions]: “Do you want the Rooney nonsense first or do you want to talk sense? The issues that you’re all going on about in the papers is absolute rubbish. I’ve banned two papers from the press conference and they won’t get back in here until they apologise. There’s absolutely no issue between Wayne Rooney and I.
“To suggest we don’t talk to each other on the training ground is absolute nonsense. He understood the reasons for not playing him and that was completely tactical. And I think I was right. We don’t always get it right but I think we did get it right. [Danny] Welbeck is the best player we have in terms of operating in a double role. We had to choke [Xabi] Alonso’s ability to control the game, which Danny did, and that took away Alonso’s control of the match and his ability to go further forward and be an attacking player. We don’t always get it right but we definitely did on Tuesday.
Question: There are no problems with Wayne long-term. We are talking months and years, not weeks [that he will stay]?
Ferguson: “Wayne will be here next year. You have my word on that. There are no issues at all with the player and he’ll be involved on Sunday.”
Question: You highlighted before, Paul Scholes missed the European Cup final and virtually all the semi but still became a legend. Is that what you think about when making these decisions and Wayne must now think about as well?
Ferguson: “There was no problem with Wayne. He understood exactly what we were doing. I explained to him before we announced the team. He was fine. Paul Scholes is a terrific example. Ryan Giggs won’t play on Sunday. Why? He was the best player we had. We know how to control him and get Ryan prepared for certain games. He has done his bit for us. Next week, yes, different game, another bit of rest, prepare him. He is brilliant when you do that. When you have the squad that we have… goodness me, I left out Shinji [Kagawa] after his hat-trick on Saturday and no one even mentioned that. I thought I might get more criticism for that.”
Question: Will Wayne start [against Chelsea in the FA Cup] on Sunday?
Ferguson: “I’m not prepared to give away my team. Why should I? Why should I help anyone? We don’t do that.
Question: You said before the game on Tuesday that Wayne was short of games – could you elaborate on that?
Ferguson: “Wayne does need a lot of football. He has always been that type. That has always been the case.”