Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Moyes: No news yet on Rooney

Wayne Rooney joined Manchester United from Everton in 2004

David Moyes on Friday remained tight-lipped about claims that Wayne Rooney has signed a new contract with Manchester United.

Speculation has been rife that Rooney has signed a new five-and-a-half-year deal, but the United boss was giving nothing away during his pre-match press conference at the club's training ground.

"As soon as we have the information to give you, we will give you it," Moyes said when asked about contract negotiations with the England striker.

Moyes does hope a deal for the player will be concluded soon, though.

The Scot added: "Everyone knows how important a player he is. He is a terrific football player and if we can get it done that will be great."

Rooney has been in contract negotiations with United for some time now and Press Association Sport understands considerable progress has been made in the last few days.

It is understood Rooney agreed the outline of a contract worth £300,000 earlier this week.

But if any formal signing or announcement was imminent on Friday, Moyes was hiding it well.

In fact, the United boss was far from happy to talk about the matter.

After repeated questioning about Rooney, Moyes said: "I'd only be repeating myself again (if I answered) your question."

Moyes was determined to focus on Saturday's Barclays Premier League game against Crystal Palace rather than talk in depth about Rooney.

Palace looked destined for relegation towards the end of 2013, but manager Tony Pulis has turned things around at the London club.

Moyes has been impressed with what the former Stoke boss has done at Selhurst Park.

"A lot of people were writing Tony off during his time at Stoke City but he hasn't half gone in there and made a few people eat their words," Moyes added.

"Results are what matter and you have to think about where Crystal Palace were and where they are now. What matters to Tony is results and he's very good at getting them."

Palace could do with a morale-boosting win against United given that they are two points above the relegation zone.

But Moyes is acutely aware that he needs to get back to winning ways after falling behind in the race for the top four with a 0-0 draw against Arsenal last week.

That draw left United 11 points behind fourth-placed Liverpool with 12 matches left.

When asked whether he thought his team could make the top four, the former Everton manager said: "We have to try, don't we? We have to try to get as close as we can and see if we can put some pressure on the teams above us."

Like the speculation over Rooney, Moyes gave little away regarding team news for United's trip to London.

Midfielder Marouane Fellaini has been out since the start of December with a series of injuries while Rafael suffered concussion at Arsenal.

Moyes would not divulge any information about the fitness of his players though ahead of the club's games against Palace and Olympiacos next Tuesday.

"Every club has players with injuries and we have the same," Moyes added.

"I'll take all the players and hopefully prepare everybody for both games."

A five-day warm-weather training camp has done much to boost the spirit in the squad ahead of the team's run-in.

"It was great that we had some time together with the players," Moyes said.

"It's the first time I've really had the chance to have a few days with the lads.

"We trained, we had some relaxation time as well, so it was good.

"You hope you get some benefit from it. I'm sure it will benefit the players, having the chance to relax.

"We'd have rather been in the FA Cup, but we weren't so the next thing we have to do is get them ready for the 12 remaining games."

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