Moyes: Rooney can be one of greats
Manchester United manager David Moyes is adamant Wayne Rooney can still elevate himself to the status of an Old Trafford legend.
Rooney only requires three more goals to become the fourth player to score 200 for United.
And, once he has overtaken Jack Rowley and Denis Law only Sir Bobby Charlton, on 249, will be left to catch to become the club's all-time leading marksman.
It is that kind of accolade that will be stressed to Rooney as the reason why he should remain with his current club, rather than hankering after a move, which still appears to be the situation even though he will not now be leaving for Chelsea before the window closes.
"There is a situation with Wayne where he could go on to emulate some of the greats at United with the goals he can score," Moyes told reporters. "The challenge is there. We've said it openly - he's got an opportunity to reach the great heights here.
"I wouldn't say the heights of immortal people, but those like Sir Bobby Charlton are on as high a pedestal as anybody can get.
"We've set it down for him - can you put yourself in this position? Judging the crowd reaction last week, they would all be happy as well."
Other than thanking United's fans for their enthusiastic support during Monday's goalless draw with Chelsea, Rooney has remained silent on his future during a summer when his name has rarely been out of the headlines.
What has been stressed by those close to him though is that he has no issues with Moyes. And the United boss is happy to report the same situation the other way round.
"I've read all this stuff about what was supposed to have happened but I've never had a minute's problem with him," said Moyes.
"He wasn't a bad lad. He was getting on with his work and is mentally in a pretty good place mainly because I saw him training every day getting himself in a good condition."
The 27-year-old definitely caught the eye in a largely drab game on Monday, when his industry was obvious to everyone. And now Moyes thinks Rooney only needs to find the net to be back to his best.
"Maybe he had to come back and show people what it meant the other night," said the Red Devils chief.
"With his work rate he was as much a team player as he was an individual. Now I'm really keen on getting him focused and getting him on the goal sheet."