Gary Neville: Rooney exit would be a big mistake

The former Manchester United defender believes his old team-mate should stay at Old Trafford following Sir Alex Ferguson's admission that the 27-year-old asked to leave the club
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has warned Wayne Rooney it would be a big mistake to leave the Premier League champions.

Sir Alex Ferguson revealed the 27-year-old, who was left out of the squad for the Red Devils' final home game of the season, wants to leave the club, and cited the former Everton striker's frequent substitutions as the reason.

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But Neville, a former team-mate who now coaches Rooney for England, believes the striker should take a break from the club over the summer after a frustrating period before reassessing his position.

“Believe me, I've seen football players go to Real Madrid, and other great clubs in Europe, and they always want to come back to this football club,” said Neville.

“I would hope that Wayne Rooney settles down over the summer - Sir Alex Ferguson says he's not leaving this football club - that he gets his head down, brings himself back.

“He just needs to get away, come away with England over the next couple of weeks, play for England, have a summer off, and hopefully he'll get his head back to being a Manchester United player because there's nowhere else to go from here.

“I played with Wayne Rooney, I know Wayne Rooney and I'm a coach of Wayne Rooney. He needs to consider that. If he sees what's going on in this football club today [United lifting the Premier League trophy], he's an emotional lad.

“You can see in the last few months he's not been quite himself. When you see Wayne Rooney on the football pitch, challenging every single challenge, fighting for every refereeing decision, you can see he's not quite been himself.

“He wears his heart on his sleeve, however, if he's seen what's happened today, the reception before today - he's sat up in that box, he's 27 years of age: this football club - there's nowhere to go from here.”