Roberto Mancini plays down speculation Wayne Rooney could join Manchester City

The Manchester United striker's future has come under speculation

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini does not think he would have a realistic chance of signing Wayne Rooney from rivals Manchester United.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has responded to intense speculation over Rooney's future by insisting the England striker will still be at Old Trafford next season.

But Mancini was still asked whether he might be tempted to test United's resolve over the 27-year-old as he met media to preview his side's FA Cup clash with Barnsley this weekend.

City were heavily linked with a move for Rooney during the player's infamous contract stand-off with United in 2010.

Mancini said: "I think that Rooney is one of the best strikers in Europe but I think it is difficult he can leave Man Utd - I don't think (so)."

Suggestions Rooney could leave United have gathered pace since he was omitted from United's starting line-up for their Champions League loss to Real Madrid on Tuesday.

Mancini says he would be surprised if something such as that led to his departure.

The Italian said: "I don't know. I don't know this situation.

"I can understand maybe Rooney would be upset if he didn't play but these are things that can happen in every team. After one week it is finished."

There has been a report suggesting City striker Edin Dzeko could hold the key to Rooney's future at United.

Dzeko has been linked with a return to German football with Borussia Dortmund, whose star striker Robert Lewandowski is reportedly coveted by United.

Were Dzeko, signed from Wolfsburg for £27million two years ago to move on, that could tempt Dortmund to cash in on Lewandowski 12 months before his contract expires.

But Dzeko, City's top scorer in the Premier League this season with 12 goals, has often stated his desire to remain at the Etihad Stadium and Mancini claims not to be aware of any interest.

He said: "At the moment, there is nothing. In the end, maybe, I don't know. In the summer, it could be possible.

"Dzeko player is an important player for us. We want that he stays here."

One of City's other high-profile strikers, Sergio Aguero, will miss the Barnsley clash with the knee injury that kept him out at Aston Villa on Monday.

Captain Vincent Kompany will also not be risked after missing six games with calf problems.

Mancini hopes both players will be fit to return for the trip to Everton next week.

Mancini said: "I don't think it is serious but in this moment we can't take a risk with Sergio.

"Vinnie was training with the team yesterday but I don't think we can risk Vinnie. Maybe he is ready for the next game against Everton."

Midfielder Jack Rodwell faces up to a month on the sidelines after limping out at Villa Park with yet another hamstring injury.

The 21-year-old, whose City career since a £12million summer move from Everton is yet to take off, has a history of such problems and only returned to action in January after a three-month lay-off.

Mancini said: "Jack is so-so. I think we need two or three weeks after the international break."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living