x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Transfer talk: Manchester United put Wayne Rooney in promo picture

Image of unsettled England striker being used to promote next month's friendly between English Premier League champions and AIK Solna in Stockholm.

Wayne Rooney has two years left on his Manchester United contract.
Wayne Rooney has two years left on his Manchester United contract.

Manchester United have increased the pressure on Wayne Rooney by using his image to promote next month's friendly against AIK Solna in Stockholm.

David Moyes, the United manager, on Monday confirmed Rooney was on track to feature in the game after responding well to treatment on the hamstring injury that forced him to fly home from the club's pre-season tour less than 24 hours after his arrival.

Although the player wants to leave United, preferably for Chelsea, the Red Devils have insisted Rooney is not for sale.

And by using Rooney to promote the game in Sweden on August 6, with the word 'Back' superimposed over his image and his shirt number 10 on a picture posted on Twitter, the club appear to be making a significant point.

With two years remaining on his contract, Rooney is hardly in a position not to travel, although there have been suggestions he may opt to force the issue by handing in a transfer request.

There is also the possibility United's stance may soften should they succeed in their pursuit of Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas.

Robin van Persie, Rooney's fellow striker, did travel to Osaka with his teammates on Wednesday despite picking up a thigh injury in Tuesday's surprise defeat to J League outfit Yokohama F Marinos.

Meanwhile, Jonny Evans has revealed he has become a football obsessive in order to make sure he is not left behind in the battle for a first-team spot at Old Trafford.

Speaking to Press Association Sport during United's tour of the Far East and Australia, the Northern Ireland international said: "For me, the last couple of years has been about learning how to live right off the pitch.

"My focus has been solely about football. When I wake up in the morning it is the first thing I think about.

"I take time and think about how I am going to improve.

"It becomes an obsession. I get up two hours earlier than I used to. I get into training earlier and go to the gym.

"I understand there is a fine line. I like to play golf. I like to spend time with my wife. I don't overkill it. As soon as I have finished training I try to relax.

"But I have a routine which I have worked hard at and which works for me."

Such singlemindedness and dedication are traits to be admired in an era where so many players are prepared to settle for something less than their best because the trappings of stardom have already arrived.

"The way I look at it is if I didn't do that stuff I might not still be at Manchester United," he said.

"When I see people working hard and putting the effort in I think 'fair play'.

"Others might think it is being busy or you are doing stupid work but it gives you a mental edge."


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