Manchester United manager David Moyes has reiterated that Wayne Rooney is not for sale and criticised the media for telling “untruths” about his relationship with the player.
Rooney, 27, did not play in United’s 2-0 Community Shield win over Wigan and will not be available for next Saturday’s opening Premier League game at Swansea, even though he is part of the England squad for the friendly against Scotland in between those two matches.
Moyes initially joked about the issue -- “You don’t think I am going to send England a fit player, do you?” he said -- adding: “I spoke to Roy for about two hours at different times. Roy knows the situation.
“Wayne has trained and -- some of you might not like hearing this -- but I did not fall out with Wayne. Some of you wrote untruths. Wayne played with the reserves at his asking. He couldn’t have contact because of a shoulder injury.
“And in case you don’t know, we used him as a floating player, which means he does not play for either team, he plays between them both. Just in case you are unclear about what I mean by that -- he played as a floating player so he would not get injured. Anyone who wrote anything else was misleading their readers.”
Asked whether he was tired of responding to questions about Rooney, Moyes said: “I am enjoying talking about it. I am hearing so many of you getting it wrong. And I know most of you, and I am thinking you are cleverer than that.
“I want him to join up [with the England squad]. He trained with us yesterday. He is not ready. You will see that in the game [against Scotland]. He will probably play a chunk of the game, but he has had not football.
“He played a chunk of a game against Real Betis where he hurt a shoulder. Apart from that, he has had no match action. You would not expect someone in that condition to play for a long period.
“But he is coming back, he is breaking himself back into the team, and it will be great for Manchester United for him to get some playing time. He was not ready for today but he has a chance to be ready for Wednesday.”
Asked whether United should keep a player who apparently wants to leave, the manager said: “He is not for sale. It is not changing. That’s the answer to your question. I have heard the question. Okay?”
He said the club were “closer” to making a few signings, but stressed that he would be happy to put his faith in the squad he has. “The deadline gets closer as well. Hopefully we are [getting nearer] but if we don’t, I will be happy to go with a lot of young English players , who we gave an opportunity to today,” he explained.
Moyes confirmed that Rafael da Silva had suffered a hamstring injury -- but stressed that the defender would have missed the Premier League opener at Swansea through suspension in any case.
“Rafa said that he felt his hamstring and, in a game like this when you have an opportunity to make substitutes, it was fine,” he told United’s official website.
“He is suspended for the first game of the season anyway, so I wouldn’t say it doesn’t matter, but it won’t have an effect on what we do next weekend.”