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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ferguson: Rooney did ask to leave

Sir Alex Ferguson has reiterated his claim that Wayne Rooney asked to leave Manchester United at the end of last season -- but the legendary manager insists he never fell out with the striker.

• Payne: Man United get it right in tricky away fixture

Ferguson revealed on the final day of last season that Rooney had handed in a transfer request, claims which were denied by the England international who was pursued by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho for the duration of the summer.

In a much-publicised interview with American TV station PBS, Ferguson added that United's refusal to sell Rooney has seen him recapture his best form.

"He asked away," Ferguson admitted. "He came in the day after we had won the title. Nothing happened that I would get upset about.

"Wayne is unfortunate in the sense that he is England's big white hope. So therefore, the media is always centred around Wayne.

"And he has people who advise him. And I think that's where all that's coming from.

"I never fell out with him at any time, you know. Sometimes I would discipline him, but sometimes they all need discipline."

Speaking of Chelsea's links with Rooney, Ferguson added: "When the club refused to sell him, he realised his only job was Manchester United. It's brought back his focus.

"It's brought back his work ethic and his purpose, and, you know, he's playing well again.

"So maybe that was a good turning point for the boy. Did it end badly? No, I don't think so.

"I think if Wayne walked in here today, he would shake my hand."

Ferguson also revealed in the interview that he turned down and offer to become Chelsea manager, as well as claiming that David Beckham's focus changed when he married Spice Girl Victoria Adams.

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