Saturday 24 February 2018

David Moyes: Wayne Rooney is not for sale

New Manchester United manager David Moyes has confirmed that Wayne Rooney is not for sale after facing the media for the first time in his Old Trafford reign.

Rooney's future has been the focus of much speculation this summer and has cast a huge shadow over the early stages of Moyes' tenure as he replaces Sir Alex Ferguson.

Chelsea, Arsenal and Paris Saint Germain have all been touted as suitors for the England striker but Moyes has categorically stated that the England striker will stay at Old Trafford.

"Wayne is not for sale," he said. "He's a Manchester United player and he will remain a Manchester United player."

Moyes also managed the 28-year-old during his time at Everton and believes he can get the best out of the England striker.

"I've been fortunate, I've known Wayne since he was 16," Moyes said.

"I've had several meetings with Wayne. He's training brilliantly well, he's come back in good shape and I'm really looking forward to working with him.

"We have spoken several times and as far as I've seen it, whatever happened before has gone.

"We are working together now. I see a glint in his eye, he looks happy and if he is saying I'm going to knuckle down and get it right - let's not kid ourselves.

"He's a terrific player and let me reiterate, he's not for sale."

Moyes also distanced himself from any meeting between Rooney and his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson about a possible departure for the forward from Old Trafford.

"There was a private meeting between two people and I was not privy to that. I'm now looking at it in my period at Man Utd," Moyes said.

"I'm really looking forward to working with Wayne and getting him to the levels I know he's capable of. I can tell you categorically that Wayne Rooney is training very well.

"If I was Wayne, you look at the legends that have played for this club. I could see George Best, Bobby Charlton, Roy Keane and I thought Wayne isn't too far away from that.

"It's not too difficult to get the goals and he could be near to that."

Moyes also revealed that he was personally anointed by Ferguson during a meeting at the 71-year-old's house.

Ferguson's retirement in May was unexpected and Moyes was called to his fellow Scot's home to be told the news.

"It was a really strange situation for me," he added. "I had no idea whatsoever.

"A lot of people thought I'd known something about the job. I knew nothing at all about it until Sir Alex gave me a call and asked me to come to his house.

"I was expecting him to say, 'I'm gonna take one of your players or I'm gonna do something else', I wasn't sure what he we was gonna say to me.

"And we went in and the first thing he said to me, he says: 'I'm retiring'.

"And I said 'yeah, when?' you know, because he was never retiring, was he?

"And he says 'next week', and his next words were 'and you're the next Manchester United manager'.

"So I didn't get a chance to say yes or no, I was told I was the next Manchester United manager by Sir Alex, so for me that was enough.

"As you can imagine the blood drained from my face - I was really shocked. More shocked that Sir Alex had chosen to retire, but inside I was incredibly thrilled that I was going to be given the opportunity to manage Manchester United."

Moyes is, however, happy for Ferguson to give his advice in the early stages of his role new role as United manager.

"I hope he is sitting in the directors' box," Moyes said.

"He has been so good. I've already called him two or three times for advice on matters. I'm taking over the champions of England and it gives me a great opportunity.

"He's not there to pressure me. The Glazers have been fantastic since I spoke to them and Ed Woodward the chief exec and the players have been very good and responded well.

"It's never easy going into a new job let alone one the size of Manchester United."

With Ryan Giggs and former Manchester United defender Phil Neville already on board in Moyes' coaching set-up, he also hinted Paul Scholes could make a return to Old Trafford in a similar capacity after he retired at the end of last season.

"I've got to say when I spoke to him he was absolutely fantastic and he gave me some guidance on things," Moyes said on Scholes.

"We probably spent and hour or two on the phone. He wants to give his family some time but there will be a place for him and we'll look to bring him back in when he feels ready."

The arrival of Moyes at Old Trafford is not the only managerial appointment in the Premier League this summer, and the new Manchester United boss is looking forward to locking horns with one man in particular.

"I'm really pleased to see Jose (Mourinho) back," Moyes said.

"He's been very successful and I think we'll enjoy having Jose back in the Premier League again. Manuel Pellegrini - I've come across him a couple of times with Villarreal and Malaga so it will be new for him as well (at Manchester City).

"Probably for the first time there has been a good shake up in the Premier League and because of that there are a lot of things that are unknown. I don't just think it at this club, there are a few other clubs that are very similar."

The shake up will be felt more keenly at Old Trafford than elsewhere however, as Moyes replaces a man who won two European Cups, 13 Premier League titles and five FA Cups during his 27 years at the helm.

And while Moyes is hopeful he can put his own stamp on United, he knows that the fans at least, will expect him to maintain many of the aspects of the Ferguson era.

When asked how his side would play, Moyes said: "I hope the same way, I hope the same traditions, I hope entertaining, exciting football.

"But I've always said, the biggest thing in football is to win.

"I would always probably put winning at the top of the list, I don't think I've ever changed from that and I'm sure that Sir Alex would as well.

"I think if you had a great entertaining team but you didn't win the games it doesn't quite get you anywhere, so I think you've got to get the balance right and hopefully I can."

He added: "Any football coach who wants to coach or manage, when you look outside any window you see Old Trafford, you have to because it's a place you want to go.

"I always hoped that when Sir Alex's days would come that I would be a consideration.

"Whoever was going to take over this club knows the job would be taking over from the manager before who was incredible. Someone who everybody in football looks up to. Worldwide known.

"His achievements, there are probably no better.

"He tops my list of many Scottish managers: Sir Matt (Busby), Bill Shankley, Jock Stein and certainly Sir Alex is right up with that group of managers.

"All I can do is do what David Moyes has done before. I'll definitely continue the traditions of Manchester United.

"But I have to, in my own way, put my own stamp on the club.

"Sir Alex had to so it when he took over and it took him a little bit of time

"I'm very fortunate I'm taking over the champions of England. So from that point of view it gives me a great starting point, better than most would ever get."

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