Wayne Rooney not for sale, will remain at Manchester United

Leave a comment

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.

Former Czech Republic defender Rajtoral kills himself

Michael Regan/Getty Images
Leave a comment

PRAGUE (AP) Former Czech Republic defender Frantisek Rajtoral, who won the domestic league title four times before joining Turkish club Gaziantepspor, died on Sunday. He was 31.

[ MORE: Bayern scouted Kyle Walker, Alex Sanchez this weekend ]

The Czech football federation said in a statement that Rajtoral had “committed suicide in Turkey.”

His agent Pavel Zika confirmed the player’s death, describing it as a “huge tragedy.”

Gaziantepspor announced Rajtoral’s death in a brief statement on its website.

Rajtoral played 14 international matches for the Czech Republic.

In the top Czech league, he won four titles with Viktoria Plzen and played in the group stage of the Champions League twice for the club. He moved to Hannover in the Bundesliga in 2014 for half of the season, on loan.

He left Viktoria Plzen last year to move to Turkey.

Bellerin wants to represent Spain U21s despite Wenger’s wishes

Ian Walton/Getty Images
2 Comments

Arsene Wenger has made it clear about Hector Bellerin representing Spain this summer but the Arsenal defender is prepared to go against his manager’s wishes if he is selected.

[ MORE: Bayern scouted Kyle Walker, Alexis Sanchez over the weekend ]

The 22-year-old has said he hopes to play for Spain’s Under-21 side this summer during the 2017 European U-21 Championship but Wenger has been weary of Bellerin’s injury status and wants his fullback to maintain a clean bill of health throughout the offseason.

“I really want to play,” Bellerin told IBTimes. “Representing Spain is very important. If [Albert] Celades gives me the chance I’ll be there.

“Those are opinions of the managers. I have to keep working. The truth is that I had a difficult injury but I think that I am at 100% now and I’ll try to prove it when I get the chance.”

Bellerin signed a six-and-a-half year deal with the Gunners in November, where he has resided since coming up in the club’s academy. He has made 102 appearances for Wenger’s team in that span over all competitions.

Roma boosts bid for 2nd in Serie A by beating Pescara 4-1

Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images
Leave a comment

PESCARA, Italy (AP) Roma boosted its bid for second place in Serie A and automatic entry into the Champions League with a 4-1 win at Pescara, which was mathematically relegated on Monday.

[ MORE: Newcastle joins Brighton in promotion to Premier League ]

Roma moved four points clear of third-placed Napoli, which drew against Sassuolo 2-2 on Sunday. Third place in Serie A receives a Champions League playoff.

Pescara remained 15 points behind Empoli. There are only five matches left and Empoli has the better head-to-head record, which is the deciding factor if two teams finish level on points.

There were 48 goals in total in the 33rd round, matching the record set in October 1992.

Roma took control shortly before halftime, with Kevin Strootman breaking the deadlock after Stephan El Shaarawy unselfishly rolled the ball across the area.

Radja Nainggolan, who earlier hit the bar, doubled Roma’s lead two minutes later.

Mohamed Salah extended Roma’s advantage three minutes after the break and the winger doubled his tally on the hour following a swift counterattack.

Ahmad Benali got a consolation for Pescara and a Cristiano Biraghi free kick also hit the post for the home side.

Frank Yallop resigns as Phoenix Rising coach shortly after Drogba arrival

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The timing is a bit sudden and certainly leaves many questions up in the air, but Phoenix Rising will have to look for a new manager.

[ MORE: Chicharito talks heating up with LA FC ]

On Monday, head coach Frank Yallop resigned from his position with the United Soccer League (USL) club less than one day after former Chelsea legend Didier Drogba joined the organization as a player-owner.

With Phoenix seen as one of several lower-level clubs with ambitions of making the leap to MLS over the coming seasons, Yallop’s departure is surely a shock to many.

According to ESPN FC, Rising lead owner Berke Bakay was quite surprised by Yallop’s decision to step down, as was Drogba.

“Didier was as surprised and disappointed as we were that Frank is unable to continue coaching our Club,” Bakay told ESPN FC. “But, we all respect his decision to put his family first.

“Didier’s focus will remain on improving our team as a player and assisting our MLS expansion team ownership group as a co-owner. Frank will be helping with our international search for a new head coach.”

Rick Schantz, the current Rising assistant coach, will head the team’s managerial duties for the interim while the club completes a full search for a new manager.