SportsDirect News has issued an apology to Wayne Rooney after publishing a story claiming Newcastle United were keen to sign Manchester United's wantaway star.
SportsDirect.com, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's company, had reported that "low-level" talks had taken place between the Magpies and Rooney's agent.
The SportsDirect.com source was quoted as saying: "Newcastle see Wayne as their ideal player. He's a strong centre-forward, would relate to the fans and would be a massive boost to the club's brand name.
"Low-level conversations have already been held between Newcastle and Rooney's agent, though the two clubs haven't spoken directly yet."
However, a clarification was published on the site later in the day, reading: “SportsDirect News wishes to express its sincere apologies to Wayne Rooney and Triple Sports and Entertainment Group for publishing the article ‘Newcastle in shock Rooney bid’, which was formulated and published without authority, merit and is untrue.”
Rooney recently stunned his Old Trafford employers by requesting a transfer for a second time, with Sir Alex Ferguson saying the England international was fed up with being left on the bench for important matches.