Transfer news: Manchester United baffled by Wayne Rooney stance - but seek clear-the-air talks with the Chelsea target

Premier League champions may attempt to buy Gareth Bale in £60m deal

Northern Football Correspondent

Manchester United, who are baffled by how Wayne Rooney could have interpreted recent comments by manager David Moyes as a slight upon him, will seek talks with the player’s agent Paul Stretford in an attempt to discover if the complaint is a mere fabrication, designed to manufacture his departure from Old Trafford.

The sources close to the player who two days ago wanted to convey that he was “angry and confused” have gone to ground. But the club’s chief executive, Ed Woodward, has returned three days early from United’s tour base in Sydney and is ready to stage discussions within 48 hours with Rooney and Stretford.

Woodward is expected to want to establish what Rooney actually thinks. So far, the player has not had the conviction to express his views or to allow his agent to – only permitting his emotions to be communicated through third parties.

United hoped that Rooney’s presence with the squad in South-east Asia and Australia would have  allowed them to impress upon him the vision of him becoming a first-choice No 10, working in tandem with Robin van Persie.

With Woodward in transit for part of yesterday, there appeared to be no new transfer market developments for United. They may attempt to buy Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale, in a deal which would be worth £60m, though the risks attached to doing business with Spurs are well known at the top of the club.

United discovered how challenging dealing with the Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, can be when they chased the signature of Dimitar Berbatov until the last hours of the transfer window in 2008 – and even then only signed him after a threatened gazumping by Manchester City at the 11th hour.

United know that Levy’s determination to drive a deal into the last days of a transfer window, to exact the full financial advantage from a sale, could have them pursuing Bale all summer, only to be left with a day or two to seek an alternative if such a deal falls down.

Moyes refused to discuss Rooney further at a press conference yesterday, during which he declared that replacing Sir Alex Ferguson was “the hardest thing to do.”

Moyes said that anybody managing Manchester United would have a challenge, “even Sir Alex. But for somebody following Sir Alex, that’s the hardest thing to do. What he did will never be repeated. For anybody to do 25 years and for the trophies and the championships he has won, it would be incredible for anybody else to achieve that.”

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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence