Sir Alex Ferguson: Wayne Rooney will remain at Manchester United
Sir Alex Ferguson insists Wayne Rooney will still be at Manchester United next season.
Last Updated: 08/03/13 8:07pm
The 27-year-old's future at Old Trafford has been the subject of intense speculation since he was surprisingly left out of the starting line-up for Tuesday's Champions League second-leg clash with Real Madrid.
Ferguson preferred Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck as his starters that night, with Rooney reduced to a cameo appearance from the bench.
And the plan worked well at first, with United 1-0 up and on course to progress, before conceding twice after Nani was controversially sent off.
The United boss has previously left big-name players out of key games as a prelude to their departure and Rooney has been speculatively linked with some of Europe's biggest clubs over the past few days.
However, speaking ahead of Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea, Ferguson said of Rooney: "He will be here next year, you have my word on that.
"The issue you're all going on about in the papers is absolute rubbish.
"There is absolutely no issue between Wayne Rooney and I. To suggest we don't talk to each other on the training ground is absolute nonsense.
"There are no issues with the player and he will be involved on Sunday.
"Wayne understood the reasons for not playing him. It was completely tactical and tactically we got it right. We don't always but we definitely did on Tuesday.
"Danny Welbeck is the best player we have in terms of operating in a double role.
"We had to choke Xabi Alonso's ability to control the game, which Danny did, and that took away Alonso's control of the game and his ability to go further forward and be an attacking player."
Asked if Rooney would start on Sunday, Ferguson added: "Why should I help anyone by telling them my team? We don't do that.
"But Wayne does need a lot of football. He has always been that type. That has always been the case."
Former United assistant manager Steve McClaren told Sky Sports News on Thursday that he expected Rooney to stay at Old Trafford.
McClaren said: "Sir Alex always says there is only one way to go after Manchester United, and that's down. He's right, that's proved.
"There are only four or five clubs that you could say to leave Manchester United to go there and it could be seen as progression.
"I know Wayne Rooney and all he wants to do is play football and win, all he wants to do is win trophies. He is a winner and there is no better club to be at than Manchester United if you are a winner. He won't want to leave unless told he can leave.
"Going abroad? There are other big clubs. For the moment, I can't see his future beyond Manchester United."
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini also does not think Rooney will leave United in the summer.
"I think that Rooney is one of the best strikers in Europe but I think it is difficult he can leave Man United - I don't think [so]," said the Italian.