Alex Ferguson: Wayne Rooney will not be sold - 'you have my word'

England striker will play against Chelsea in the FA Cup this weekend

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has moved to quash speculation linking Wayne Rooney with a summer exit from Old Trafford.

The England striker was dropped from the starting XI for United's crucial Champions League tie against Real Madrid, a decision many read as spelling the end of Rooney's career at Old Trafford.

Rooney came on in the match as a substitute but it was too late for the 27-year-old to make an impact and United crashed out of the tournament.

Since then, there has been widespread speculation that Ferguson is prepared to let Rooney leave, and will listen to offers in excess of £20m for the player he signed from Everton as a teenager.

However, at today's press conference to preview tomorrow's match against Chelsea in the FA Cup, Ferguson denied that was the case and that Rooney will be a Manchester United player next season

"He will be here next year, you have my word on that," he said.

"There is no issue between myself and Wayne Rooney. To suggest we don't talk is nonsense.

"He understood the reasons completely. Tactically we got it right. We don't always but we did then.

"There are no issues with the player and he will be involved on Sunday.

"I left out Shinji Kagawa after he scored a hat-trick. I thought I would get more stick for that."

Ferguson is still bitter about the circumstances of Tuesday's defeat, in particular the dismissal of Nani, on which the entire contest turned.

"It is hard to keep your faith when you have things like that," said Ferguson.

Ferguson refused to say whether Rooney would actually start on Sunday.

And he again repeated his belief that the 27-year-old needed to play matches in order to retain full fitness, an assessment that has raised so much debate over the past few days.

"Why should I help anyone by telling them my team? We don't do that," said Ferguson.

"But Wayne does need a lot of football. He has always been that type. That has always been the case."

Ferguson said he had been concerned about the appointment of Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir prior to Tuesday's game.

Cakir has now sent off seven players from English teams, but never one against them.

"I was concerned. I said that to my staff," he said.

"I had a big worry about it but it is gone now. There is nothing we can do about it."

Meanwhile, Ferguson confirmed Phil Jones was still not fit enough to return after an ankle injury, although could be available to face Reading in the Premier League next Saturday.

And the United boss admitted Nani may need a lift after his unfortunate experience in midweek.

"Nani was obviously disappointed and we have to get rid of that feeling of guilt he maybe has," said Ferguson.

"I don't think he did anything wrong and that's the message we'll give to him."

Ferguson also opted against attacking old adversary and the under-fire Rafael Benitez, whom he faces at Old Trafford for the first time since his surprise arrival at Chelsea.

"I'm not going to kick anyone when they're lying down," he said.

"It's not my style."

However, a meeting with Chelsea offers the perfect pick-me-up.

"In the cold light of day, though, we're Manchester United and we have to get on with it," said Ferguson.

"There's nothing that can be done now. We have an important issue of a quarter-final on Sunday.

"I've cleared my mind. It's just another day in the history of our club. Not a good day, but another day."

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
News
people
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones