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Wayne Rooney not for sale, will remain at Manchester United

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Manchester United’s new manager David Moyes addressed the media for the first-time since taking over at Old Trafford.

And it wasn’t your average press conference.

Hundreds of reporters, photographers and film crews packed into the event, as Moyes’ eagerly awaited first few words as United boss declared the clubs intent to keep hold of want-away striker Wayne Rooney.

“Wayne is not for sale. He is a Manchester United player and will remain a Manchester United player.”

Then when asked if Rooney has asked to leave, Moyes repeatedly mentioned how well Rooney is training and dodged the question. Never stating if the England international had asked to leave the club.

Moyes added that he has had several meetings with Wayne Rooney and his representatives and hopes he will become Manchester United’s record goalscorer one day.

“I see a glint in his eye. He looks happy, he looks like he will knuckle down and get himself right,” Moyes said. The new United boss also commented on Rooney’s form on the practice pitch. “He is training brilliantly well… I’m looking forward to working with him.”

(MORE: Tuesday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Rooney to Barca, Cavani to Chelsea)

And of course this won’t be the first time Moyes has managed Rooney, with the former Everton boss nurturing England’s top talent as a teenager.

“I have known Wayne since he was 16, when he was at Everton. It is a little bit of deja vu. He is training really well, he is coming back in good shape.”

So will Rooney really stay at United? Or is this just a ploy by Moyes and the club to up his price in the transfer market?

Both are likely, United are certainly not going to give up one of their biggest assets easily. But Moyes did not confirm that Rooney has either asked to leave the club or stated his intent that he wants to stay at Old Trafford.

That is the big factor here, what is the point of keeping an unhappy player at the club? United may not get the anywhere near the best out of him. So should they cash in?

(MORE: Rooney may “want a fresh challenge” away from United)

But the news wasn’t all about Rooney, as Moyes discussed how he plans to manager United to more success in the coming years.

“All I can do is do what David Moyes has done before. I’ll continue the traditions of the club. I am very fortunate that I am taking over the champions of England and I do hope that I can do a great job here in time.”

However despite all the other updates from United’s new manager, the main news reverberating around the soccer world this afternoon will be that Wayne Rooney is not for sale and that Manchester United want to keep their prolific striker.

What Wayne Rooney thinks about that, well, that’s another matter entirely that I’m sure will come out in the coming days and weeks.

“Overweight” Costa comes to Mourinho’s defense

Diego Costa, Chelsea FC
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Diego Costa says he and his Chelsea teammates are to blame for Chelsea’s horrid start to the 2015-16 Premier League season.

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Speaking Thursday, during a bit of downtime over the current international break (Costa was left out of Vicente del Bosque’s squad for Spain’s final two EURO 2016 qualifiers this week), Costa placed the majority of blame at the feet of the entire team, but went on to most harshly critique himself for coming into the season unfocused and “overweight.”

Costa, on his lack of fitness and form to begin the season — quotes from the Guardian:

“We know we’re not in the form we were supposed to be at the beginning of the season. We need to blame the players because we came back from holiday very confident, thinking we could go back into how it was last season, and then realized the team was already in a bad situation.

“I’m going to be very honest: maybe a few weeks ago, five or six weeks ago, I was not on top of my game. At least physically. We talk within the players and we know that, maybe at the beginning, we were not 100 percent as we were supposed to be when we got here. I got injured at the end of last season and then I went on holiday. Maybe I got out of my diet and, when I came back, I was not the way I was supposed to be. I was a little bit overweight. That affected my game. You can be selfish and blame it on the manager but I’m not going to do that. I’m responsible 100%, and so are the other guys.

Given that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said on Thursday he doesn’t quite know what’s wrong with the defending Premier League champions, hearing someone — anyone — speak up and explain the club’s worst start to a season in 37 years will surely be a welcome sound to any Blues supporter’s ears.

[ MORE: Liverpool appoint Klopp as manager | Allardyce to Sunderland? ]

Costa, who is eligible to return from suspension next weekend when Aston Villa visit Stamford Bridge, has scored just one goal in league play this season (six appearances) after scoring 20 in 26 games last season.

Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
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Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

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Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.