x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Rooney confirms he is intent on leaving United

Striker says he wants to leave because of concerns that the club will not make big enough investments in the squad to compete for future trophies.

Roberto Mancini, the  Manchester City manager.
Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager.

Wayne Rooney last night confirmed he wants to leave Manchester United because of concerns that the club will not make big enough investments in the squad to compete for future trophies.

The England striker has almost two years remaining on his contract, but manager Sir Alex Ferguson announced on Tuesday that the 24-year-old player would not sign the new deal that had been offered by chief executive David Gill.

"I met with David Gill last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney said. "I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract. I was interested to hear what Sir Alex had to say and surprised by some of it.

"My agent and I have had a number of meetings with the club about a new contract.

"During those meetings in August I asked for assurances about the continued ability of the club to attract the top players in the world."

Rooney joined United in 2004 from Everton. He has since won three Premier League titles and the Champions League. But the team only won the league cup last season after losing Cristiano Ronaldo and striker Carlos Tevez, without signing any high-profile replacements.

Rooney has also seen neighbouring Manchester City outspend United in the last two years since being bought by Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed.

Like Ferguson did on Tuesday, Rooney downplayed talk about a rift between the two - calling the manager "a genius" - and said his decision was based solely on an ambition to win.

"I have never had anything but complete respect for MUFC. How could I not have done given its fantastic history and especially the last six years in which I have been lucky to play a part?" Rooney said.

"For me its all about winning trophies. I think the questions I was asking were justified."

Meanwhile, Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, has denied his club have approached Rooney in a bid to sign the striker.

Mancini said: "He is a United player. It's not correct to speak about that situation. I have respect for him, for Ferguson, for United."