Gary Neville has said that the speculation surrounding Wayne Rooney’s future at Manchester United won’t have any impact on his on field contributions in the early part of the season and that David Moyes cannot afford to sell him unless he makes another big name signing.
“I think if United don’t sign a blockbuster player there is no way they can even consider letting Wayne Rooney go. You are not just talking about the performance, you are talking about a character – a massive character and personality,” said Neville.
“He went through a situation two or three years ago. It was quite a public situation but he still continued to want to play football. If Manchester United decide not to sell him I think that he will go about his business in absolutely the way he has done previously. I don’t see how Manchester United can sell him at this moment in time. I really don’t because they won’t be able to replace him.”
Rooney is currently training with England ahead of tomorrow night’s friendly with Scotland and will use any game time he gets under Roy Hodgson to show he is fit and ready to resume duty with United against Swansea on the opening day of the season this weekend.
Rooney returned from United’s preseason tour of Asia with a hamstring injury in July and subsequently picked up a shoulder injury against Real Betis which has seen him miss the rest of the teams preseason preparations including full training.
The injuries were wrongly seen by some in the media as convenient excuses for Rooney to defy the club after he was said to be ‘angry and confused’ at comments made Moyes about his role in the team behind Robin van Persie.
Moyes has maintained throughout that Rooney is not for sale and the club have backed their manager by dismissing two bids of £20million and £30million from Chelsea in the window so far and the player is now said to be concentrating on getting himself up to speed to take part in United’s title defence.
Chelsea have been reported as preparing a third bid for the player but it has yet to materialise and unless, as Neville suggests, United can bring in one of their top targets such as the unlikely arrival of Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona, any approach made for Rooney will be given the same response as previously.