Wayne Rooney not for sale say Manchester United after reports striker asks for transfer
Sky sources understand Wayne Rooney has asked to leave Manchester United - but the club insist he is not for sale.
Last Updated: 09/05/13 7:30pm
It would appear David Moyes is facing his first major test at Old Trafford before his appointment as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor has been confirmed.
Sky sources understand Rooney suggested it would be better if he made a fresh start away from United in an informal chat with Ferguson a couple of weeks ago.
United have rejected the idea out of hand and insist: "Wayne Rooney is not for sale."
However, it is thought Rooney has been unimpressed at being asked to play out of position during the latter weeks of the season and with Robin van Persie impressing in his debut campaign, wondered whether he had a future at United.
Ferguson's impending departure, coupled with Moyes' arrival, brings Rooney back together with his first boss at Everton.
The rift caused by comments Rooney made about Moyes in his autobiography has now been healed.
However, with two years remaining on his contract, United must make a move or risk Rooney electing to let the deal run down and leave for nothing.
That is an unpalatable prospect, yet there have been suggestions Rooney will be asked to take a pay cut from the mega deal he signed in 2010 - days after handing in a transfer request - which would not go down well either.
Ferguson had not forgotten how Rooney effectively held the club to ransom in the aftermath of Cristiano Ronaldo's exit, something he vowed not to let happen again.
Moyes has none of that baggage. However, the Scot will be mindful of the need to keep Rooney fully motivated. And with the likes of Chelsea and Paris St Germain offering a potential way out, Moyes could elect to sever ties with the England man for a second time.
Sky Bet suspended betting on Moyes heading to United and he held talks with Everton chairman Bill Kenwright on Wednesday in London.
Following the discussions on Wednesday evening, Kenwright confirmed that no agreement has been finalised for Moyes to succeed Ferguson.
"I don't know about a deal being done," Kenwright told Sky Sports News. "David had a meeting scheduled with me and we've just had a good meeting.
"I think, at the end of the day, David's contract is up in six weeks' time and he has a right to make his own decisions.
"He's served this club wonderfully well."
The 50-year-old former Preston North End boss has spent 11 years in charge at Everton, but is out of contract at the end of the season.
United chief executive David Gill has outlined the qualities needed to succeed Ferguson as manager amid expectation Moyes will be the new man in charge.
"The qualities are the ones that have been inherent at Manchester United for many years," Gill told MUTV.
"Our two most successful eras were with managers who got involved with all aspects of the club, from the youth team to the first team, to get that degree of loyalty and understanding of the football club.
"Clearly he has to have the requisite football experience, both in terms of domestic and European experience. It is a small pool."