Millennium Post

Fergie dismisses Rooney sale

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson on Friday dismissed speculation linking Wayne Rooney with a move to French league leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

England international Rooney has reportedly been a target of the French capital club, despite having two years of his five-year contract to run at Old Trafford.

But ahead of their game Barclays Premier League game against Aston Villa on Monday, Ferguson played down talk that the 27-year-old forward would leave the club at the end of the season.

‘I don’t think there’s anything in that at all,’ Ferguson said in response to question about whether Rooney had been unsettled by talk of a move to PSG.

‘I couldn’t tell you (anything) about that. As far as taking him off on against West Ham, it’s because he wasn’t playing as well as Shinji (Kagawa) was.

‘We had to get that goal that mattered and, of course, there are so many games where Wayne Rooney is better than other players. But on the night Shinji was playing so well.’

Manchester United will have a full squad to choose from against Aston Villa, despite a physical encounter against West Ham in their last game on Wednesday, which ended 2-2. A win in Monday’s match could see United crowned champions if second-placed Manchester City currently 13 points behind their local rivals  lose at Tottenham on Sunday.

Goalkeeper David De Gea took a blow to the head after a collision with Hammers’ forward Andy Carroll, although Ferguson confirmed he will be fit to play. ‘We have a few bumps and bruises. David De Gea has a beautiful bruise on his cheekbone,’ the United manager told reporters in Manchester.

‘I think after coming out of that war zone I am pleased there is no-one seriously injured. The team were fantastic that night in terms of standing up. ‘It’s the type of games you get against (West Ham manager) Sam Allardyce’s teams. We had to deal with it.

A point was deserved and we could have won it in the last 20 minutes but it’s satisfying to come back from going behind twice in the game. ‘I have the same squad for Aston Villa. Hopefully we pick the right team.’


Chelsea’s interim manager Rafael Benitez is looking forward to making a sentimental visit to his old stomping ground on Sunday when the European champions take on his former club Liverpool in the Premier League.

Benitez was in charge at Anfield from 2004-10. He twice reached the final of the Champions League and won Europe’s elite club competition in unforgettable style in 2005 when his team came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with AC Milan and triumph on penalties.

‘I will be going back home because Liverpool is where my family live now,’ the Spaniard told reporters after Chelsea’s 3-0 league victory at west London neighbours Fulham on Wednesday.

‘I was there for six years, I have very good memories so I cannot hide that I will be really pleased to go back to see a lot of friends.’ Benitez, however, said his attention would not be diverted from third-placed Chelsea’s need to consolidate their Champions League qualifying position for next season.

‘The main thing for us is to stay in the top three and to win at Liverpool - after that I wish them all the best,’ he added of his former team.

‘If they can win all their games for the rest of the season, fantastic, but as a professional I am sure they will try to win and we will try to win.’    
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