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Wayne Rooney intent on leaving Manchester United

20 October 10 17:51 GMT

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney says concerns over the club's squad strength are behind his decision to seek an exit from Old Trafford.

The 24-year-old, whose deal expires in the summer of 2012, revealed he had spoken to chief executive David Gill.

A statement from Rooney read: "He did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad."

The England star added that he was "surprised" by some of United boss Sir Alex Ferguson's comments.

On Tuesday Ferguson admitted he was "shocked" and "disappointed" to hear that the former Everton player intended to leave.

However in a strongly worded statement released only hours before United's Old Trafford Champions League clash against Bursaspor Rooney countered: "I was interested to hear what Sir Alex had to say [Tuesday] and surprised by some of it.

"I have never had anything but complete respect for the club. How could I not have done given its fantastic history and especially the last six years in which I have been lucky to play a part?

"For me it's all about winning trophies - as the club has always done under Sir Alex. Because of that I think the questions I was asking were justified.

"Despite recent difficulties, I know I will always owe Sir Alex Ferguson a huge debt. He is a great manager and mentor who has helped and supported me from the day he signed me from Everton when I was only 18."

Rooney has been linked with a number of clubs, including wealthy local rivals Manchester City, but he insisted that a concern over United's ability to attract the world's top players was at the heart of his decision to seek a move.

Supporters have long had concerns over the amount of debt placed on the club by US-based owners the Glazer family following their leveraged buyout in 2005.

Less than two weeks ago, United reported an annual pre-tax loss of £79.6m but following the release of the figures, Gill insisted there was no pressure to sell players.

He said: "We have money in the bank so there is zero pressure on that, no pressure at all to sell any star player whether it is Wayne Rooney or X, Y or Z."

Cristiano Ronaldo departed to Real Madrid for £80m in July 2009 and Carlos Tevez joined neighbours City for £25.5m two weeks later.

United have preferred to buy promising young players rather than established stars and Rooney's remarks suggest he feels the club can no longer match his ambitions.

"It is absolutely true, as [Ferguson] said, that my agent and I have had a number of meetings with the club about a new contract," added Rooney.

"During those meetings in August I asked for assurances about the continued ability of the club to attract the top players in the world."

Rooney, who Ferguson signed for £25.6m in 2004, did however praise the 68-year-old Scot, adding: "For Manchester United's sake, I wish he could go on for ever because he's a one-off and a genius."

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