Saturday 20 January 2018

Just don't mention the 'R word'

Graham Chase

IT WAS a little like being told not to mention the war to the "typical Germans" as Alex Ferguson faced the press yesterday with the subject of Wayne Rooney strictly off limits.

Hours after reports began circulating that Rooney could leave Old Trafford in January after telling the club he does not want to extend his contract beyond the end of next season, Ferguson was scheduled to appear at the announcement of a new scheme with Unicef.

When Ferguson strode onto the platform with David Gill, Ryan Giggs and two Unicef executives he appeared totally relaxed.

Smiling, he knew he was not going to be pressed on Rooney's future even before the compère reminded us that it was to be strictly questions on United's partnership with the charity only.

But admirable the new commitment to raise £1m over the next three years is, it was some way behind Rooney on the conversation topics in the pubs of Stretford last night. The presentation over, Ferguson answered two questions on the partnership and then he was off for a quick photocall on the pitch.

The subject of the world's vulnerable children puts the issue of where Rooney will play into perspective and while it was not the subject many wanted to hear him discuss, Ferguson perhaps pointedly said the the work helped some of theyounger players realise "what the real world was like".

Irish Independent

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