Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Charlton wants Rooney to stay

Wayne Rooney could become Manchester United's all-time leading scorer

Sir Bobby Charlton still hopes Wayne Rooney eclipses his Manchester United goalscoring record despite the striker again hankering for a move away from Old Trafford.

Rooney requires 52 to catch Charlton's 249 United goals and is just three off becoming only the fourth player in their history to reach the double century.

In addition to Charlton, that would put him in the company of Denis Law and wartime marksman Jack Rowley.

Yet the prospect of Rooney even achieving the latter feat look slim given his present stand-off with the Red Devils.

United insist the 27-year-old is not for sale, a stance set to be tested again by Chelsea before the transfer window closes on September 2.

And Charlton hopes the present impasse is resolved before then.

"Wayne Rooney is a Manchester United player and I think that he will continue to be a Manchester United player," said Charlton, who was speaking during a visit to the Laureus-supported Operation Breakthrough project.

"We are not silly enough to make any rash decisions.

"I don't like losing really good players and he is a really, really good player.

"I was hoping one day that he might score as many goals as I had and that would have been really nice if it was at our club. I'm still thinking that way."

Currently sidelined by a hamstring injury that saw him sent home from the five-match pre-season tour of the Far East and Australia that ends in Hong Kong on Monday, Rooney will surely not be sold until United have strengthened their own squad.

That is proving somewhat troublesome as there have still been no additions despite the return to Europe of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward on "urgent transfer business" on July 18.

Barcelona have continued to insist Moyes' major target Cesc Fabregas is staying where he is, leaving United to ponder the wisdom of a third bid.

"I never at any time said I knew we would get him," said Moyes.

"I just said we had made offers. They have been rejected.

"We will take stock of the situation and decide where we go from there."

It would not seem a switch of target is imminent, even if it is an option, having been linked so often with Marouane Fellaini, a player Moyes knows so well from Everton.

Certainly the United camp anticipate additions before the transfer window closes on September 2.

"That is the transfer deadline," said Moyes.

"I am confident we will have players in before then."

The present situation has been portrayed by some as being a mini-crisis, with United set to fall apart if they don't buy anyone.

However, as Moyes stated, only Paul Scholes' retirement has diminished the squad that last season won a record 20th title by an impressive 11-point margin.

"We have a great squad," said Moyes.

"There are a few more I have not even met yet and, even without any additions, Manchester United will be tough opponents for any team this year."

Fans are in for a surprise on Monday, with skipper Nemanja Vidic set to feature in what was arranged as a reserve team friendly at Crewe.

The tough-tackling Serbian will bolster United's defensive options significantly ahead of what is shaping up to be an intriguing Premier League campaign.

"Manchester United are challenged by everybody in every game they play as far as I know and we will be this year by several teams in the Premier League," said Moyes.

"It looks like a strong league, with new managers and new players at certain clubs as well.

"Hopefully we are in for an exciting year and one people will enjoy watching."

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