Van Persie: I joined United to play with Rooney
As Manchester United celebrated their first silverware of the season by winning the Community Shield beating Wigan Athletic, star striker Robin van Persie spoke out for the first time regarding Wayne Rooney saga, stating his desire to see the Englishman at the Old Trafford next season.
Rooney’s future has been well speculated in the media and it is understood that the striker wants a move, despite the club’s repeated claims that he is not up for sale.
United have already rejected two mega bids from Chelsea, while manager David Moyes has denied any rift between him and the striker. It was understood that Rooney was left angry and confused with the comments made by the Scot, where he claimed publicly that the England star will be used as a second-fiddle to Dutchman Robin van Persie.
However, the Dutchman himself is desperate to tee-up with the former Evertonian next season and claimed that the maverick striker was one of the reasons he came to the club in the first place from Arsenal last summer.
“Everyone wants Wayne to stay and deep down I think he feels the same,” Van Persie told The Sun newspaper.
“One of the reasons I joined Manchester United was to play with Wayne. I hope he stays. Not only is he a great goalscorer, he does so much work across the pitch.
“He hates to lose – that’s why you see him one minute pressing for goal, the next minute defending ferociously. He is an asset to any team.
“He will come good again. He is a strong lad.”
Amidst the constant speculation, Rooney’s preparation for the new season has been hampered by double injury blows, first a hamstring and now a shoulder injury that has hindered his quest to gain full fitness.
The former Everton star has been training with the reserves this week in a bid to regain some sharpness ahead of the new campaign, and was still left out of the squad for Sunday’s Community Shield tie against Wigan.
However, he has been selected by England manager Roy Hodgson for the next week’s international friendly against Scotland but the United boss feels that Rooney is way short of match fitness and is not ready to play.