MANCHESTER, October 19 – Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed Tuesday that star striker Wayne Rooney has said he wants to leave the club."I had a meeting with him. He intimated to me in his own way that he wanted to leave," Ferguson said, admitting he was "shocked and disappointed" by the player’s stance.
Speculation about Rooney’s future at the club has raged for days after Ferguson dropped the 24-year-old England international for last Saturday’s Premier League clash with West Bromwich Albion.
It came just days 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 a press conference on Tuesday, confirming that Rooney had requested to leave Old Trafford but denying any argument with the player.
A 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.
"It was terribly disappointing that he wanted to leave. We just couldn’t understand it," Ferguson said, holding out the hope that Rooney’s United career could yet be saved.
"We have to keep the door open because he is such a good player," Ferguson said, admitting he was baffled by Rooney’s stance.
"We have done nothing but help him since he came to this club, that is why this is such a mystery to us. We’ve helped him with his private life and other matters," Ferguson said.
"So we’re as bemused as anyone can be because we can’t understand why he would want to leave a club that is successful as we are in British football."