Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has told David Moyes he wants to leave and is considering submitting a formal transfer request in a bid to push through a move to Chelsea, according to reports in the Guardian and the Telegraph.
Rooney was the subject of a second bid from Chelsea on Monday but United were quick to reject the offer, insisting – as they have all summer – that the England international is not for sale.
However, the player has now been tipped to officially request to end his nine-year association with United, with reports suggesting he is fearful that Sir Alex Ferguson will still play a major role in the Moyes era.
The ex-Everton forward's relationship with Ferguson became fractured beyond repair last season, with the 27-year-old believed to have been left particularly angry by the Scot’s claim that he had submitted a transfer request at the end of last season, something Rooney has vehemently denied.
Rooney was due to return to first-team action in United’s pre-season friendly against AIK in Stockholm, but was withdrawn from the squad due to a shoulder complaint.
"Wayne hurt his shoulder in a fall during a match on Saturday," Moyes said. "It's not too serious and I don't expect it to keep him out for too long. I'm disappointed he's missing the game because we were keen to get him back involved and ready to play."
Rooney’s stance on wanting to join Chelsea has been met with hostility by the United dressing-room, according to the Independent and the Mirror, with the suggestion that senior players including Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra have become frustrated that their pleas for their team-mate to stay have fallen on deaf ears.
Should Rooney stay, he would be a due a testimonial next year and is also just 50 goals away from equalling Sir Bobby Charlton’s club record haul of 247 for United.
Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince has told Rooney it is up to him to “force the issue” if he wants to leave Old Trafford.
Ince, who was sold controversially by Sir Alex Ferguson to Inter Milan in 1995, said the striker ought to go public by saying whether he is keen to leave or intends to extend his United career.
"If Wayne wants to go, then it is up to him to force that issue," said Blackpool manager Ince, speaking after his side’s 1-0 Capital One Cup defeat to Preston on Monday.
"But Wayne has not said he wants to go or wants to stay. It would be nice to know what Wayne Rooney wants."