Sir Alex Ferguson's former assistant Steve McClaren insists "everyone is looking for controversy" as questions mount surrounding Wayne Rooney's future at Manchester United.
The United boss omitted the England international from his starting line-up as the Red Devils crashed out of the Champions League with a 2-1 loss to Real Madrid on Tuesday evening, fuelling speculation that a switch away from Old Trafford could be imminent for the 27-year-old.
However, McClaren believes the media have overplayed the significance of Sir Alex's decision to drop Rooney, insisting the the Scot's call will have been motivated by footballing considerations.
"Everyone is looking for controversy and some like to find it in the selection Sir Alex made," the ex-England manager told Sky Sports News.
"It is premature and obviously stirred up by the media."
McClaren went on to explain that the United boss constantly evaluates his players and their value to the squad as a whole, and insists he sees Rooney remaining with the Red Devils for the foreseeable future.
"Sir Alex will look every week, every day, every season at each individual player very closely in training and games and say what kind of condition they are in and is he still mentally right for Manchester United," he continued.
"If not, he will have no hesitation in removing a player.
"But for the moment, I cannot see his [Rooney's] future beyond Manchester United."