Midweek Sport - - SPORT - By JIMMY POLLOCK

MIKE PHE­LAN reck­ons Wayne Rooney would be BONKERS to leave Manch­ester United.

Phe­lan – who lost his job at Old Traf­ford as part of David Moyes’ shake-up – thinks the want­away striker is at the best club if he wants to keep chal­leng­ing him­self.

Rooney is due to have face-to-face talks with new boss Moyes this week to sort out his fu­ture once and for all.

Sources close to the dis­cus­sions have claimed it is presently “60-40” that the Eng­land striker will end his nine-year stay at Old Traf­ford.

The ma­jor stum­bling block is Sir Alex Fer­gu­son’s state­ment last May that the for­mer Ever­ton man had asked for a trans­fer.

It has now been es­tab­lished Rooney did not for­mally re­quest a move – as he did in 2010 – he merely won­dered whether Fer­gu­son saw any long-term fu­ture for him at the club.

How­ever, the per­cep­tion un­happy player re­mains.

And Phe­lan ac­cepts it could be an is­sue.

“It is a dif­fi­cult one. You can put your first one down to in­ex­pe­ri­ence maybe, the sec­ond one is putting your­self right out there,” said Phe­lan.

“Some­where along the line there

of an will be some meet­ings, and they’ll see if it’s still alive and worth go­ing for or whether they’ll call time.”

But Phe­lan reck­ons Rooney should stay where he is as there is no bet­ter place to be, de­spite in­ter­est from Chelsea, Arse­nal and Paris St Ger­main.


“He is still at the great­est club he could be at, so why would you want to jeop­ar­dise that un­less you want a fresh chal­lenge and you don’t think that chal­lenge is be­ing met at Manch­ester United?” said Phe­lan.

“He might have hit a blip and then it’s easy to find fault with that, but he isn’t the first player to do that and he won’t be the last.

“You just have to nurse them through it and hope­fully he re­sponds. But some­times you have to crack the whip with him, be­cause they’re men, not chil­dren.”

The 50-year-old for­mer Man United mid­fielder, is not bit­ter at be­ing dumped by new boss Moyes.

Phe­lan added: “I had a cou­ple of talks with Moyes and he wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do. Then we met up again a lit­tle bit later and he de­liv­ered the mes­sage that I wasn’t go­ing to be part of his team.

“Fair enough, you move on. I wish him the best of luck.”

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