Sir Alex Ferguson refuses to discuss Wayne Rooney at Manchester United press conference
Sir Alex Ferguson has refused to discuss Wayne Rooney's current off-field problems.
Rooney has been at the centre of allegations about his private life and with a trip to former club Everton looming tomorrow, there has been a huge amount of speculation as to whether the 24-year-old will be involved or not.
Toffees defender Phil Jagielka has already wound up the situation, claiming Rooney can expect a hostile reception at Goodison Park.
But Ferguson has no intention of adding fuel to the fire.
"Let's put it to bed straightaway," said the United boss.
"I am not discussing any of my players' personal lives."
Despite the huge interest around Rooney, it is fully in keeping with Ferguson's management philosophy that he would not feed the story even further.
In private, the Scot might adopt a different stance, although that would not include offering Rooney a bed for the night, as was suggested in some quarters.
However, the United boss has tended to remain loyal to his squad and keep the unity within it by closing ranks when necessary.
Ferguson has never shown any need to leave players out of potentially hostile situations for personal reasons either.
David Beckham for instance, was not spared an appearance against West Ham in the aftermath of his difficult experience at the 1998 World Cup, while more recently, Cristiano Ronaldo was trusted to control his temper when he became public enemy number one for his part in England's exit at the 2006 tournament.
Nevertheless, Ferguson will also want to be sure in his own mind of the best way to use Rooney over the next arduous week.
With matches against Everton and Liverpool sandwiching the Champions League match with Rangers, it is entirely possible Rooney will be left out at some stage.
However, with Ferguson today reporting that Mexico striker Javier Hernandez had only returned from international duty last night, two days after most of his squad got back, the odds would be on Rooney running the gauntlet of Goodison Park ire.