David Moyes steels himself for the battle to keep Wayne Rooney

 

Northern Football Correspondent

Wayne Rooney and David Moyes will shake hands at Manchester United's Carrington training ground tomorrow as the as the new Manchester United manager begins in earnest his attempts to persuade the 27-year-old that his future lies with the club.

Manager and player met around four weeks ago, for in an initial encounter which allowed Rooney to get across his frustrations about his last season working with Sir Alex Ferguson. Tomorrow's first meeting among the squad at the club will come on a day when many players return to meet Moyes. Rooney has his pre-season fitness assessment tomorrow afternoon and since Moyes has the other players to meet individually, it is unclear whether he will have time to schedule the follow-up talks the two agreed to when they parted company for their summer holidays, a month ago. A meeting is scheduled this week between Rooney, his agent Paul Stretford, Moyes and United chief executive Ed Woodward, though that may not provide an instant resolution ahead of Moyes' first public press duties as United manager. The two sides may need to hear what the other says, disperse to consider their positions and return for a second group discussion at a later stage. Though United leave for their pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia next week, with Rooney scheduled to be on it, the issue could drag on through the summer.

Ferguson's former assistant manager Mike Phelan has said that Moyes will want to talk to Wayne Rooney without any of the player's entourage around as he tries to persuade him that his future lies at Old Trafford. There is a feeling at the highest level of Old Trafford that senior players have a vital role to play in winning Rooney over to the argument that he will not find a better environment to flourish than United. Phelan has told BBC Radio Manchester Red Wednesday's programme that Moyes and his chief executive Ed Woodward will initially want to see Rooney without the player's representatives. “I think he would want to talk to Wayne Rooney and just Wayne Rooney the football player,” Phelan said. “ The rest of it is part of Wayne's backroom team, as such.” A meeting has been convened between Moyes, Woodward, Rooney and his agent Paul Stretford, which is likely to take place tomorrow.

Moyes is likely to impress on Rooney that by staying at Old Trafford he can become an all-time legend and the club's top goalscorer, while at any other club he will be starting again with all the uncertainties that entails. All that is set against the allure that Chelsea and Jose Mourinho hold for him. Rooney is currently only 52 goals behind Sir Bobby Charlton on the all-time United goalscorers' chart. Going elsewhere may be more lucrative for him and will certainly be so for his representatives but Rooney is unlikely to establish the same status in another place.

"Wayne has proved he is a Manchester United [quality] player" Phelan said. "He is good enough to play at the level [he has reached.] Why would you want to jeopardise what you've got? An exciting future might be in front of you. He is already at a top, top club. There isn't a lot for him to go out and grasp that he hasn't already got.” Also weighing in United's favour is the fact that Rooney's family are settled in the north west and his wife, Coleen, is understood to favour being close to her family.

United are in no doubt that the reaction of the club's fans to Rooney is something that weighs on the player's mind, after his conversation two months ago with Ferguson which the former manager characterised as Rooney putting in a transfer request. If Rooney can be persuaded to consider staying, public assertions are expected from Moyes and Woodward smoothing over Ferguson's suggestions, when omitting Rooney from his own last home game as manager, that Rooney had demanded a transfer.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent