David Moyes was unable to declare at his own presentation as Manchester United manager that Wayne Rooney wants to stay at the club, stating only that he “won’t be for sale”.
Moyes employed the lobbying strategy which his newly appointed coach Ryan Giggs is also expected to try on Rooney when he used the press conference to remind the England striker publicly that he can make history and become United’s all-time greatest goalscorer if he forgets his fascination with Chelsea and Jose Mourinho and stays.
“Wayne is only 50 goals behind Sir Bobby Charlton and 40 behind Denis Law,” Moyes said of the player, whose 197 United goals also leave him 13 behind Jack Rowley. “What we are doing at the moment is looking to get Wayne Rooney to getting those goals to challenge Bobby Charlton’s and Denis Law’s number. As far as I am concerned, the way he is working I am more than happy to work with him and make sure we get success.”
But Moyes – who said he never discussed other clubs’ players when asked if Cristiano Ronaldo was a transfer prospect – simply repeated “we are working” when pressed on whether Rooney had committed himself to Old Trafford. It had been thought Moyes might attempt to soften his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson’s claim that Rooney had asked for a transfer, a claim which has infuriated the 27-year-old, who insists he only said he was unhappy. But Moyes settled for declaring that it was their own business.
“There was a private meeting between two people and I was not privy to that so whatever happened in that meeting was said. I will not take it on from here,” said Moyes, who revealed that he and Rooney had spoken “several times” about the striker’s future.
“I don’t know what those two gentlemen said. That conversation was private between them both. As far as I’m concerned, I’m really looking forward to having a go with Wayne.”
Moyes, whose club are expected to table a new £15m bid for Everton’s Leighton Baines and are seeking to buy Barcelona’s Thiago Alcantara, said he hoped to conclude a signing before the club go on tour next week but “time is closing in a little bit just now”. He said there was no deal with Everton chairman Bill Kenwright about signing players from his former club.