By Greg Stobart
Wayne Rooney has taken a significant step towards the Manchester United exit door after he was ordered to train with reserves by David Moyes on Thursday, Goal can reveal.
Rooney arrived for training expecting to join up with the rest of the United first-team but at 10am was told that he would be working with the reserve players.
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Sources have told Goal that Rooney appeared to be training 'normally' and was courteous and smiling as he showed no emotional reaction to the decision.
Moyes’ decision to keep Rooney away from the first-team represents a change in United’s stance towards the striker. The United boss has publicly insisted Rooney is not for sale but, privately, has been angered by the 27-year-old’s attempts to engineer a summer transfer to Chelsea.
Rooney is desperate to push through a move to the Blues, who have had two bid rejected for the 27-year-old, the latest worth nearly £30 million including add-ons.
Rooney is now ready to submit a formal transfer request as he seeks a fresh start following nine years at Old Trafford.
He believes there is no way back for him at the club and is highly unlikely to play in Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial against Sevilla on Friday or the Community Shield clash against Wigan on Sunday.
And after Moyes banished him from the first-team on Thursday, it appears increasingly likely that United will look to cash in on the England international this summer.