x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Rooney sale rubbished while Grant backs Parker

Meanwhile Harry Redknapp fears Ledley King's inability to train has finally caught up with the Tottenham captain.

Manchester United

Manchester United have dismissed claims they will sell Wayne Rooney during the January transfer window. Rooney was left on the bench by Sir Alex Ferguson for Saturday's clash with West Bromwich Albion, and only introduced 19 minutes from the end of the 2-2 draw. Even then, Rooney was consigned to the left wing, leading to more intense speculation about the 24-year-old's relationship with Ferguson. Although they rarely comment on individual stories, United have opted to make a brief response to suggestions that Rooney's alleged rift with Ferguson is now so great that he will be ushered out of Old Trafford. "To suggest Wayne Rooney will be sold in January is nonsense," said a club spokesman.

West Ham United

Avram Grant, the West Ham manager, believes no English midfielder has played as well as Scott Parker this season and has called upon Fabio Capello to bring the Hammers captain back into the international fold. Parker, who has won three caps for the England national team, was part of their provisional squad before the World Cup but failed to make the final cut. "I think if you look at all the English midfielders, with respect to others, there is no doubt that Scott, from the beginning of the season, has been the best midfielder," Grant said. "I need to talk to Capello. I am not the England manager, but I am sure that Scott deserves to be there."

Bolton Wanderers

Bolton are still "a work in progress" according to Owen Coyle, the manager. Saturday's 2-1 win over Stoke City put Bolton seventh in the table, just three points behind third-placed Arsenal, and Coyle thinks there is more to come from his side. "The great thing is we're one of the teams in the Premier League that has spent little or next to nothing," said Coyle. "We've not spent £15 million or £20 million (Dh88-117m) like some other clubs, and of course we wish we had that available, but we don't. So we make the best of what we've got, and we've a group of players who are a joy to work with, they really are. We're very much a work in progress and we have to continue with our hard work in each and every game, which presents a different challenge in what is the best league in the world."

Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Redknapp fears Ledley King's inability to train has finally caught up with the Tottenham captain and is causing injuries that could further limit his playing time. King faces another spell on the sidelines after suffering a recurrence of a groin problem against Fulham on Saturday. The defender's notoriously-fragile knees have left him unable to train properly for several years, while he has struggled to play more than one game a week. "He's going to be [out] a while," said Redknapp, his manager. "The problem he has, he doesn't train, and when you don't train, you pick up injuries. It's such a shame for him; he's such a great player."

Blackburn Rovers

Sam Allardyce has warned that any prospective buyers of Blackburn need to be completely sure what they are taking on. Two rival consortiums are considering a takeover bid for the club and Allardyce, the Blackburn manager, said buyers should be aware that running a football club is a unique business. "You cannot rush anybody into a decision as big as buying a Premier League football club," Allardyce said. "They have to make sure they know exactly what they are getting into. The last thing you would want to face as new owners is by finding out it was not quite what they thought - which could have a massive effect on how the club is developed."