'Terrific' Rooney one of the finest around - Strachan

The Scotland boss heaps praise on the embattled Manchester United striker ahead of his side's clash with England but stops short of discussing the striker's transfer woes
Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has lauded Wayne Rooney ahead of Wednesday's match against England.

The 27-year-old has been the subject of a protracted transfer saga over the summer after seeing his role diminish at Old Trafford following the signing of Robin van Persie last year but the 56-year-old believes that the Manchester United star remains one of the world's finest strikers, predicting him to take the Three Lions to World Cup 2014.

"He's absolutely terrific," Strachan enthused to the Daily Mirror. "He's got hunger, he's got work-rate, ability ... he has the devil inside him that has to win games. He is a terrific footballer.

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"[England] are always in decent shape - if they put these players up for sale tomorrow, most top clubs in the world would want to buy them. I think [England will] qualify."

Yet Strachan refused to comment on Rooney's potential departure from the Red Devils, instead focusing on the task ahead of his Scotland side in taking on England.

"I've no idea if Rooney is determined to go from Old Trafford - I think I might become his mate if I don't say anything about him," the national boss joked.

"I'll speak about the England team, the individuals who could play, we have already done a bit of that. We've picked out passages of play that England are good at and we will do that again.

"There will be 16 or 18 players that we pick out and he will be one of them. We've not prepared for anyone special - we are prepared for the shape that we think is best for playing against England."