20 Oct 2010

Rooney tells Man United he wants to leave, says club

9:55 am on 20 October 2010

Star striker Wayne Rooney has told Manchester United he wants to quit the club, leaving manager Alex Ferguson expressing his "shock and disappointment" at the player's stance.

"I had a meeting with him (and) he intimated to me in his own way that he wanted to leave," Ferguson said at a press conference ahead of United's Champions League tie with Turkish side Bursaspor on Wednesday.

Speculation about Rooney's future has raged for days after Ferguson dropped the England international for last Saturday's Premier League clash with West Bromwich Albion.

It came after Rooney publicly contradicted Ferguson's claims that he was suffering from an ankle injury by telling reporters he was fully fit.

Ferguson finally broke his silence on the saga at an extraordinary press briefing in Manchester, confirming that Rooney had requested to leave Old Trafford, though he denied any argument with the player.

A clearly shellshocked Ferguson said he had first been made aware of Rooney's desire to leave before the start of the new season, when informed by United chief executive David Gill.

He said the player had indicated in early discussion in March that he wanted to stay.

Media reports had said Rooney and Ferguson had fallen out after the publication of lurid tabloid reports about the player's private life, with Rooney complaining about a perceived lack of support from Ferguson.