Wayne Rooney reveals truth behind his infamous Manchester United 'transfer request'
Wayne Rooney has revealed that he told Sir Alex Ferguson that it “might be better” if he left Manchester United if he was no longer going to be in the team under the club’s former manager.
However Rooney insisted that he did not submit a transfer request and expressed his surprise that the claim was made public.
In a wide-ranging documentary – “Wayne Rooney – The Man Behind The Goals” – to mark his remarkable achievement at becoming England’s record goal-scorer, surpassing Sir Bobby Charlton’s total of 49 goals, the striker also reveals his disappointment at his country having failed at major tournaments.
Rooney also admits he should not have gone to the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany because he was not fit enough and says the England manager he was most disappointed in was Fabio Capello who failed to live up to his reputation.
In the film, to be aired on BBC One next Tuesday, Rooney pays tribute to Ferguson who signed him from Everton in 2004.
“He was the reason why I wanted to join Man United, to work with him,” Rooney says. “In my eyes the best manager of all-time. For him to be interested in me and wanting me to play under him, there was nowhere else I was going to go.”
Rooney enjoyed astonishing success at United under Ferguson but twice tried to leave the club – asking to be sold in 2010, with Manchester City leading the interest, and with the player accusing United of lacking ambition, before he signed a new contract and subsequently apologised to his Old Trafford team-mates.
Then two years ago Rooney was in and out of the United team before Ferguson’s retirement and Chelsea wanted to sign him. “I went in to see him (Ferguson) and just said ‘if you are not going to play me then it might be better for me to move on’,” Rooney explains in the film, narrated by Gary Lineker.
“Then, all of a sudden, it was all over the press that I had put a transfer request in which I never did. I don’t know what happened, why that came out that way.”
Asked about his relationship with Ferguson, which is understood to have improved in the past two years, Rooney says: “It is not just me who has had a fall-out with Alex Ferguson. I think many players have. Some have left. Some have stayed.”