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Wayne Rooney 'will not sign new Manchester United deal'

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (top) and Wayne Rooney during Saturday's game against West Brom
Ferguson named Rooney as a substitute against West Brom

Manchester United have been informed that Wayne Rooney will not sign a new contract with the club, according to reports from the Press Association.

The 24-year-old striker's current deal runs out in the summer of 2012 and it is understood negotiations over a new contract have broken down.

There has been speculation that Rooney will be sold in the January transfer window, with Real Madrid interested.

However, United's response was to label that claim as "nonsense".

Rooney's relationship with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been under scrutiny in recent weeks.

The striker missed United's Premier League fixture at Everton last month after allegations about his private life and he was then left out of subsequent games by Ferguson, who claimed the England international had an ankle injury.

However, last Tuesday, after England's 0-0 draw against Montenegro in a Euro 2010 qualifier at Wembley, Rooney contradicted the Scot's statement and insisted he was fit and had not had any ankle problem.

On Saturday, Rooney, who has scored only one goal in five Premier League appearances for United this season, was left out of the starting line-up for the 2-2 draw with West Brom.

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Ferguson, who is yet to speak publicly about the current situation with Rooney, brought his striker on with 20 minutes remaining, after United had squandered a two-goal lead, and asked him to play on the left wing.

Former United defender Steve Bruce, now the manager of Sunderland, said he was convinced Ferguson words and actions in recent weeks had been intended to try to protect Rooney.

"He's been trying to keep him out of the spotlight, trying to keep him under the radar, trying to protect him in his way," Bruce told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek.

"We all know Wayne Rooney is a fantastic footballer and it's the first time in his career he's had this little sort of blip. Make no mistake, he'll be back - he's our best talent in this country and it's about time we tried to protect him and look after him."

However, Spanish giants Real Madrid are rumoured to be interested in Rooney, who has not scored for United from open play since March.

Rooney's former club-mate Cristiano Ronaldo moved to the Bernabeu in the summer of 2009 and the side has numerous striking options in Gonzalo Higuain, Angel di Maria, Mesut Ozil and Karim Benzema.

On Monday, Real director general Jorge Valdano appeared to quash speculation of an imminent move for Rooney but did not rule one out.

He told Telemadrid: "The question is, who would we move aside if we signed another striker? In January, there will be neither ins nor outs. June is a long way away."

Manchester City, Chelsea and Real's arch-rivals Barcelona are also rumoured to be interested in Rooney, whose value is likely to drop as his contract nears expiration.



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see also
Giggs out with hamstring injury
17 Oct 10 |  Man Utd
Ferguson lifts Van der Sar blame
16 Oct 10 |  Premier League
Man Utd 2-2 West Brom
16 Oct 10 |  Premier League
Man Utd threw points away - Phelan
16 Oct 10 |  Man Utd
Rooney denies ankle injury claim
13 Oct 10 |  Man Utd
Rooney desperate to hit best form
02 Oct 10 |  Man Utd
Rooney removed from Coke campaign
04 Oct 10 |  Man Utd
Rooney feeling strain - Ferguson
24 Sep 10 |  Man Utd
Rooney left out of Man Utd squad
11 Sep 10 |  Premier League


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