Wayne Rooney opens up on what really caused fractured relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson

PREMIER LEAGUE Wayne Rooney opens up on what really caused fractured relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson

Mark Kinyanjui 18:32 - 21.02.2024

Rooney stunned Manchester United by handing in a transfer request in 2010 but stayed at the club although his relationship with Ferguson deteriorated.

Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has shared insights into his complex relationship with former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, revealing that it was “never the same” after he submitted a transfer request in October 2010.

The former England striker expressed concerns about the club's direction and sought assurances regarding their ability to attract top players globally.

On the Stick to Football podcast, Rooney admitted that he made a U-turn on his decision to leave Old Trafford until the end of the 2016-17 season, but acknowledged that his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson was affected. 

Reflecting on his decision, he said, “Being a manager now myself, and looking back, it was the wrong thing to do probably.

“At the time, I felt like it was the right thing to do to really get assurances for my own career.'

Rooney explained that after discussions with David Gill about the club's plans, he signed a new deal. However, the relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson was never the same.

“The big thing that probably hurt him was they had just sold Carlos Tevez, they had just sold Cristiano Ronaldo, and probably couldn't afford to let me go.”

Having enjoyed success at United alongside Ronaldo and Tevez, Rooney was concerned about the team's future.

 He recalled expressing to the manager as he sought assurances about the team's direction.

It's no disrespect to Phil Jones or Chris Smalling – they are obviously not going to replace Ronaldo and Tevez'

Rooney's former teammate Gary Neville recalled the challenging moment when news of the transfer request broke just before a Champions League game. Neville initially believed there was no way back for Rooney.

“'I thought that was it – there is no come back from that.”

However, Rooney ultimately apologized to the team, and the relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson gradually improved.

Rooney went on to win two more league titles under Ferguson before the legendary manager retired in 2013. 

Rooney continued playing at Old Trafford for four more seasons before concluding his career with spells at Everton, DC United, and Derby County. 

The revelations provide a glimpse into the complexities of player-manager relationships and the challenges of decision-making during pivotal moments in a football career.

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