Wayne Rooney scored his 200th goal for Manchester United in the club’s 4-2 Champions League win against Bayer Leverkusen, before again refusing to dismiss the rumours that he asked to leave the club last summer.
The United No.10 was constantly linked with a move away from United throughout the summer, with Chelsea having two bids for the striker turned down.
Rooney has yet to speak publicly on those transfer events, again opting to side-step the issue when quizzed by ITV Sport in the immediate aftermath of his latest sparkling display, preferring to focus on his achievement of becoming only the fourth player to notch a double century of goals for United.
“Listen, I will concentrate on my football as I have done all summer,” was his response to a question about his commitment to United. “I got my head down in the summer, worked hard and I’m concentrating on my football. The fans here have been fantastic with me and the reception I get here is great. Hopefully I can reward them with goals and performances tonight.
“It’s something I’m very proud of, I’m pleased to score 200 goals for a club like Manchester United and hopefully there is more to come.
“I’m delighted to be back playing and scoring and this was a good result. The first game in the Champions League is always important and thankfully we got the victory.”
United manager David Moyes joined the chorus of praise flowing in Rooney’s direction, even though the striker was guilty of a glaring second half miss that came a minute before Leverkusen’s equaliser.
“We did a lot of good things, missed a lot of chances, but got the job done in the end,” stated a relieved Moyes. “The players knew what they had to do and they went about it well.
“I thought Wayne was terrific tonight. I said a month or six weeks ago that he had a chance to join the real greats here, but he deserved the ovation he got. He looks fit and lean and he showed that in his performance again. He could have had a hat-trick tonight, but he was fantastic.
“Robin van Persie’s goal was great as well and if we can get those two scoring, then they will be formidable that would help to get us as many points as possible."
Moyes has also urged Rooney to break Bobby Charlton's club record and has suggested the potential to become one of United's greatest ever players was a motivator in his decision to stay at Old Trafford.
"I'm not a historian at Manchester United but I think there’s only four people to do it. I remember saying he has got a real chance to be one of the all-time leading goalscorers at this club and if he keeps playing like he did tonight, he’ll get there. He was very, very good.
"I think it was something we made him aware of (breaking the record). Wayne Rooney could join the real greats with his goalscoring."
MANCHESTER UNITED’S 200 GOAL CLUB
Bobby Charlton (249)
Denis Law (237)
Jack Rowley (211)
Wayne Rooney (200)