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Rooney didn’t want to leave Man Utd for City but I had to fight to keep him, admits Moyes

1:24 PM GMT+4 30/09/2019
Wayne Rooney Manchester United
The former Red Devils boss says the legendary frontman was looking for a move when he arrived at Old Trafford and had to be talked into staying

David Moyes admits Wayne Rooney wanted out of Manchester United when he arrived at the club, but Manchester City was never an option for the England captain.

A summer of change in 2013 saw Sir Alex Ferguson slip into retirement at Old Trafford.

United turned to another Scot for inspiration, with Moyes appointed on a long-term contract after proving his worth at Everton.

He would prove to be a serious flop, with there too many challenges for him to take on as successor to the iconic figure.

One of those involved talismanic striker Rooney, with a man who would go on to become the Red Devils’ all-time leading goalscorer among those looking for a change of scenery.

Moyes told beIN Sports: “Wayne was looking to get away when I joined Manchester United, and I was aware of that when I joined the club, that he was looking to change club.

“But actually this time I really wanted him, I really wanted him to stay.

“I thought the chance to work with Wayne again, I thought it would help me, and he certainly did, he was really good.”

Moyes had helped to launch Rooney’s career during his time at Goodison Park, with a 16-year-old thrust onto a senior stage.

He added on the saga he inherited at Old Trafford: “Yeah I do [know where Rooney wanted to go], aye, and I did at that time.

“But I have to say I learnt a lesson a little bit from the owners of Manchester United at that time.

“I think Wayne eventually put a transfer request in and the owners of Manchester United turned round and said ‘you don’t think we listen to transfer requests, we had far better players, many players who have put in transfer requests, we tell them when we want them to leave Manchester United’.”

Moyes insists City, who were an emerging force at the time, were not the destination Rooney had his eye on, saying: “No he wasn’t going to cross the city.

“So there you go, that’s a clue. Yes [it was a Premier League club].”

It has already been revealed by Moyes himself that Chelsea were the team Rooney was keen on linking up with.

He told the Sunday Times back in April 2015: “Chelsea were close to taking him.

“Jose Mourinho was interested but we wouldn't do any business. I had to fight to make sure he stayed - and was at the heart, again, of what Manchester United were going to be moving forward.”

Rooney finally left United in 2017, as he returned to Everton, and is currently on the books at MLS outfit D.C. United.