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Drogba turning back the clock

Chelsea 20 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
May 26, 2006

Ferguson denies United are holding Rooney back

Sir Alex Ferguson insists he wants Wayne Rooney to go to the World Cup with England.

Despite his widely-publicised worries over the 20-year-old being rushed back to action before he is 100% fit, Ferguson has agreed to release Rooney when the remainder of Sven-Goran Eriksson's 23-man squad head to Germany on June 5.

The Manchester United forward will spend 10 days on non-football training before returning to England on June 14 for a second scan which will determine whether he can play any part in the World Cup.

And, despite previously suggesting thoughts of Rooney playing in Germany were no more than `a pipe-dream' Ferguson is adamant he wants to see his young star on the field.

'The most damaging thing which has been said is that we (Manchester United) do not want Wayne Rooney to go,' Ferguson told MUTV.

'If there is one player I want to play in the World Cup, it is him.

'Wayne is a major player for our football club and I want him at the World Cup. I have told him that from day one.'

Ferguson dismissed as `nonsense' reports that United would sue England if Rooney suffered any further injury if Eriksson decided to risk him in Germany.

Instead, the United boss had a lengthy conversation with the Swede this morning which resulted in an agreement which left Eriksson delighted.

'This is very encouraging news,' said Eriksson.

'The fact he is flying out to Germany with us will give everyone a huge lift.'

In fact, Rooney will link up with his international team-mates on Sunday when England head for next week's friendlies against Hungary and Jamaica.

'I am looking forward to Wayne joining up with the rest of the squad on Sunday,' added Eriksson.

'I spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson today and we had a really good conversation. Despite all the speculation, there has been a very positive dialogue with Manchester United all along.

'We are very grateful for the support that they have given Wayne and the England team.

'We are still hoping the second scan will show further improvement and that Wayne can play his part in the World Cup.'