LONDON: New Manchester United manager David Moyes has confirmed that Wayne Rooney is not for sale after facing the media for the first time in his Old Trafford reign.
Rooney’s future has been the focus of much speculation this summer and has cast a huge shadow over the early stages of Moyes’ tenure as he replaces Sir Alex Ferguson.
Chelsea, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain have all been linked with the England striker but Moyes has stated categorically that the England striker will stay at Old Trafford.
“Wayne is not for sale,” he said. “He’s a Manchester United player and he will remain a Manchester United player.”
Moyes also managed the 28-year-old during his time at Everton and believes he can get the best out of the England striker.
“I’ve been fortunate, I’ve known Wayne since he was 16,” Moyes said. “I’ve had several meetings with Wayne. He’s training brilliantly well, he’s come back in good shape and I’m really looking forward to working with him.
“We have spoken several times and as far as I’ve seen it, whatever happened before has gone.
“We are working together now. I see a glint in his eye, he looks happy and if he is saying I’m going to knuckle down and get it right – let’s not kid ourselves. He’s a terrific player and let me reiterate, he’s not for sale.”
Moyes also distanced himself from any meeting between Rooney and his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson about a possible departure for the forward from Old Trafford.
“There was a private meeting between two people and I was not privy to that. I’m now looking at it in my period at Man Utd,” Moyes said.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Wayne and getting him to the levels I know he’s capable of. I can tell you categorically that Wayne Rooney is training very well.
“If I was Wayne, you look at the legends that have played for this club. I could see George Best, Bobby Charlton, Roy Keane and I thought Wayne isn’t too far away from that.
“It’s not too difficult to get the goals and he could be near to that.”
Moyes also revealed that he was personally anointed by Ferguson during a meeting at the 71-year-old’s house.
Ferguson’s retirement in May was unexpected and Moyes was called to his fellow Scot’s home to be told the news.
“It was a really strange situation for me,” he added. “I had no idea whatsoever.
“A lot of people thought I’d known something about the job. I knew nothing at all about it until Sir Alex gave me a call and asked me to come to his house.
“I was expecting him to say, ‘I’m gonna take one of your players or I’m gonna do something else’, I wasn’t sure what he we was gonna say to me – and we went in and the first thing he said to me, he says: ‘I’m retiring – and I said ‘yeah, when?’ you know, because he was never retiring, was he?
“He says ‘next week’, and his next words were ‘and you’re the next Manchester United manager’.
“So I didn’t get a chance to say yes or no, I was told I was the next Manchester United manager by Sir Alex, so for me that was enough.
“As you can imagine the blood drained from my face – I was really shocked. More shocked that Sir Alex had chosen to retire, but inside I was incredibly thrilled that I was going to be given the opportunity to manage Manchester United.”
Moyes was also questioned about rumours bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford and although he wouldn’t speak directly about the Real Madrid star, he added: “This club always interested in the best players.”
Meanwhile the former Everton boss was asked what he would count as success in his first season.
He said: “This club is about winning trophies and something I’m looking forward to doing.”