Wayne Rooney and Manchester United Deny Rumor Saying Rooney Will Be Sold in January

Wayne Rooney and Manchester United Deny Rumor Saying Rooney Will Be Sold in January

Manchester United and Wayne Rooney have issued a joint statement dismissing rumors the club is set to sell the star striker. The BBC reports the relationship between Rooney and manager Sir Alex Ferguson has become strained, but not to the point where United will sell its star player.

"Any suggestion that Manchester United and Wayne Rooney are to part company is complete nonsense," the statement reads. "We can assure all United fans that the manager and the club are committed to Wayne Rooney and Wayne is committed to the manager and the club.

"The player and the manager have always had and retain utmost respect for each other and look forward to working together in the coming seasons."

Saturday's Independent will report that the relationship between Rooney and Ferguson has nearly broken down. It stems from an incident last week when Ferguson fined and dropped Rooney ahead of United's loss against Blackburn, after the player broke curfew. 

Rooney and teammates Darron Gibson and Jonny Evans were seen out in Manchester on Boxing Day (Dec. 26) despite Ferguson banning players from going out at night during the packed festive schedule.

Ferguson fined Rooney a week's pay after his lackluster performance at practice the following day, and left him out of the match-day squad for the following Saturday against Blackburn. Second place United fell to Blackburn at Old Trafford 3-2. It then lost its next game at Newcastle 3-0.

It faces Premier League leader Manchester City in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

United and Rooney deny reports of a rift, but Rooney and Ferguson have publicly clashed before. In October 2010, the 26-year-old striker tried to leave the club, questioning United's ambition. He performed a dramatic U-turn two days later, signing a fresh five-year contract.

Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O'Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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