Manchester United remain convinced that the relationship between David Moyes and Wayne Rooney can resolve the outstanding grievances that the player has with the club and even open the door to talks about a new contract at some point in the season.
While Rooney made it clear in his interview with ITV after Tuesday's 4-2 Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen that he was not likely to forget quickly the unhappiness of the summer, when he and his advisers lobbied the club to accept a bid from Chelsea.
However, Rooney was explicit on Tuesday about how comfortable he felt playing for Moyes since the latter took over in June, and said that he had been assured by his new manager that there was no pecking order as far as he and Robin van Persie were concerned.
Asked how he felt to be playing for Moyes again, Rooney, who scored twice against Leverkusen, said: "It's obviously good. He's a great manager and thoroughly deserves this job because of what he did at Everton. It's good to work under him and hopefully be successful together.
"I feel great. The training is a bit different under the new manager. I remember it from Everton. It's more intense. That's helping me. I feel good and am glad to be out playing.
"I have put my head down and worked hard and tried to do everything right. I have tried to show the right attitude. I have always felt that's a really important thing to do. That's paying off for me on the pitch. I feel fit and ready to do well."
While the fallout from the summer is still being felt, especially with Sir Alex Ferguson's new autobiography to be published in a month's time, relations between United and Rooney are still sensitive. Neither side feel there is anything to be gained in talking about the future yet, but there remains hope that – if his good form persists –Rooney could be persuaded to stay longer than the two years left on his current deal.
On the question of whether there was a seniority of one of United's leading strikers over the other, Rooney was unequivocal. The suggestion that Moyes believed he would be used only as an alternative to Van Persie when the latter was unavailable – which prompted the "angry and confused" response from Rooney's camp in July – has been put to bed.
Asked about the existence of a pecking order, Rooney said: "No, I have seen things said over the summer but me and Robin are friends off the pitch. There is no problem between me and Robin at all. We are great friends and we want to help each other and be successful.
"It's different [to his partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo]. Ronaldo always played out wide most games and I was on the other side out wide. We were both playing off the front man. This is different with Robin. We dovetail well and try and help each other score goals."
The 200th goal of his United career means that Rooney is 50 short of Sir Bobby Charlton's 40-year-old club record. That record was raised during the summer as an incentive for Rooney to stay as Chelsea pursued him.
Rooney said: "It's always a challenge. It's a massive football club and it's amazing how long that record has stood for. So it's great to get to 200. That's a great honour and I'm really proud of that. To be edging closer to [Charlton's record] is great. The most important thing for me was to get back playing and get among the goals."
United announced a record annual turnover of £363.2m today, with commercial revenues up 29.7 per cent under executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
The owners' debt on their leveraged buy-out now stands at £389.2m with estimates that since 2005 the Glazer family has spent £680m on repayments, refinancing and bank charges.Reuse content