We can stop talking about Wayne Rooney‘s summer 2013 transfer saga now that key figures in the story finally told the world what actually happened.
Both Rooney and Sir Alex Ferguson have gone on record about Rooney’s request to leave Manchester United in the latter stages of the 2012-13 season. They say Rooney did request a transfer, but he did so verbally, as opposed to in writing.
This is an important distinction, as Rooney would have forfeited bonus money and other fees had he submitted a written transfer request, Sky Sports reports.
“This is the nub of it: in the regulations, in your contract, if you write a letter and ask away or say you have asked away, you lose all your signing-on fees,” Ferguson said. “He has never admitted that and never put in a written transfer request, which is what he has been sore at.”
For much of the summer, it was widely believed that Rooney wanted to leave United for Chelsea. The Blues made two formal transfer bids for Rooney, but United refused to sell him. At one point near the close of the summer transfer window, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho urged Rooney to publicly demand a transfer (if he really wanted to leave). Rooney chose not to.
Earlier this month, Rooney told a press conference that he wanted to leave because former manager Ferguson often played him in a position other than his favored center-forward spot last season. Ferguson confirmed this aspect of the story Tuesday.
“My memory is he asked away because, he said, he was not going to play in his proper position,” Ferguson said. “I can understand that.
“That’s not a problem with me. I can only go on evidence on the football field. He wasn’t playing well enough.”
Ferguson concludes that Rooney has recovered his best form this season.
“Now, we see Wayne Rooney,” he said. “That’s the one I love seeing and I am enjoying him getting back to that form. In that form, United will win most of their games.”
Reuters reports Rooney said he was happy with Ferguson’s clarification of the transfer saga. He added that he hasn’t seen Ferguson since last season and is enjoying playing for United’s new manager.
“Thankfully he’s [Ferguson] come back and corrected the story that I put a transfer request in and he’s gone back and proven that I haven’t,” Rooney said the day after Ferguson’s autobiography was launched in which the Scot said the forward “asked away” rather than referring to any formal transfer request.
“I haven’t seen him since he retired, I’m happy under the new management,” Rooney said. “I’m working to get results under David Moyes and his coaching staff so that’s the main thing for me. The other stuff doesn’t concern me. “I’m just happy playing my football at the minute. That’s the past, I’m looking forward to the future now.
“I feel good, I feel fit, [I'm] enjoying my football so hopefully I can score more goals and keep trying to be successful. [My enjoyment comes from] the new coaches that have come in and it’s really like a new lease of life … We are working to try and be successful as a team. We have a lot of players who are hungry.
The epilogue to saga concerning Rooney’s future will center on looming contract negotiations. Rooney’s current deal expires in 2015, and United has yet to offer the 28-year-old striker a new deal. The reigning Premier League champions will either sign him to an extension sometime this season, or face the prospect of selling him for a discount, as his current contract enters its final year.
No one knows exactly what Rooney’s United future will look like, but it’s comforting to have a clear idea of what has happened over the last six months.
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