FOOTBALL NEWS

08/03/2013 10:00, Report by A Marshall & N Coppack
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Rooney rumours quashed

Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed widespread speculation that Wayne Rooney could leave Manchester United in the summer.

The boss came out fighting in his first address to the media since the controversial Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid in midweek and set the record straight regarding the England striker.

After being benched for the European tie, Rooney will feature against Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday and there are no issues between the pair.

"The Wayne Rooney issue first?" he asked at the start of his press conference. "Or do you want to talk sense?

"The issue 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 is 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 game 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."

The manager was also clear that there is no truth in the reports linking Rooney with a big-money exit during the close season.

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