Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Rooney earns Vidic plaudits

Nemanja Vidic has spoken to Wayne Rooney about the striker's future

Nemanja Vidic has claimed Wayne Rooney is in better shape than he has been in for five years.

Unsurprisingly, Rooney was the central topic of David Moyes' first media engagement since being confirmed as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor in May. Moyes stated his intention to guide Rooney towards legendary status as a Manchester United player, yet could not offer any assurance the striker actually wants to stay.

Vidic said: "Wayne is in the best shape I have seen him in the last five years, I haven't talked to Wayne about his future but I have seen him train extremely well over the last few days and am looking forward to him playing for the club and playing his best."

Whether that actually happens remains open to debate, if only because Moyes had to skirt around the issue, preferring instead to highlight what the 27-year-old could become.

"When I went down to the training ground, I looked at the pictures of the legends that have played for this club," said Moyes.

"I could see George Best, Denis Law, Bobby Charlton, Roy Keane and I thought Wayne isn't too far away from that.

"It's not too difficult to get the goals and he could be near to that. If he could do that he could be seen in the same light as those people."

Moyes has also challenged Rooney to get the 40 and 52 goals he still needs to equal Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton, the top two goalscorers in United history. However, together with the soothing words and the cajoling, Moyes also made it perfectly clear United are not interested in letting him go.

"I've had several meetings with Wayne," said Moyes.

"I'm fortunate, I've known him since he was 16. He is not for sale. He's a Manchester United player and will remain a Manchester United player."

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