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Rooney happy to be in England fold

first_img The uncertainty and lack of obvious match fitness has not prevented Hodgson from selecting Rooney for Wednesday’s high-profile friendly with Scotland at Wembley though. Hodgson insisted he had spoken to both the player and his manager David Moyes before confirming his squad. And Rooney has acknowledged his inclusion on his official Facebook page. “Can’t wait to join up with the England squad and hopefully play in a competitive match, they always are against Scotland,” said Rooney. “Big thanks to Roy Hodgson for selecting me and showing his faith and support, appreciate it.” As there are some who believe Rooney has been fit enough to play some part in United’s pre-season campaign, which has so far yielded just two victories, the comments could be interpreted as having additional meaning. Yet United have remained insistent that Rooney is going nowhere, with former captain Bryan Robson branding Chelsea’s latest £25million bid for Rooney “an insult”. As a global ambassador for the Old Trafford outfit, Robson remains close to United affairs and travelled with Moyes’ squad throughout their recent tour of the Far East and Australia. Rooney is yet to figure in a pre-season game for Manchester United due to hamstring and shoulder problems and was again missing for Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial at Old Trafford. Yet that doesn’t really tell the story of Rooney’s summer, with the player apparently wanting to leave United for Chelsea, who have already had two bids turned down for the 27-year-old. Press Association Robson is acutely aware of the club’s stance and, in a summer where Real Madrid are apparently willing to offer mega-money to secure the services of Gareth Bale and Arsenal have bid in excess of £40million for Luis Suarez, Robson feels Chelsea’s valuation of Rooney – who still has two years remaining on his contract – is ludicrously low. “The thing that makes me laugh is I’ve been told it [the latest bid] is £25million to £30million. For Wayne Rooney? A 27-year-old who is probably in the top six strikers in the world?” Robson told TalkSPORT. “What are United going to have to pay to replace him? I’m amazed at that. I think it is an insult to Wayne Rooney.” With Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, Shinji Kagawa and, most obviously, Golden Boot winner Robin van Persie in his squad, Moyes clearly has attacking alternatives. Yet there is no doubt though that, having failed to secure the services of Cesc Fabregas, losing Rooney would increase the pressure on new manager David Moyes and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who has endured a difficult first summer since replacing David Gill as the man responsible for completing transfer deals. Yet it does seem the England forward is happy to call time on his stay at Old Trafford. Rooney’s major concern appears to centre around Sir Alex Ferguson’s continued presence in the United hierarchy and the influence he will be able to exert given he selected Moyes as his successor. Given the relationship between Rooney and Ferguson broke down completely, to the extent the Scot went public with a claim his forward wanted to leave. As it transpired, the 27-year-old merely aired the possibility as part of what he thought was a private chat. What Rooney views as conduct beyond acceptable boundaries from Ferguson has not been checked publicly and is highly unlikely to be so given the status of the former United boss. However, Robson insists the situation is not irretrievable. “I don’t know what’s in the head of Wayne and his agent – why he wants to leave,” he said. “I know he had loggerheads with Sir Alex but David Moyes is the manager now. “To me it is so important for him to concentrate on his football this season. “I don’t know what he sees – the grass is greener on the other side – the fans love him, the players love him so I don’t see what the unsettlement is. “Everyone would like to see Wayne Rooney settle down and be part of the team to try to retain the title.” Wayne Rooney has thanked Roy Hodgson for his faith in picking him for England.last_img read more

Guzan: Suarez unsure of contact

first_imgAston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan claims even Liverpool striker Luis Suarez did not know whether the American had fouled him after the Uruguayan won a point-saving penalty for his team at Anfield. Guzan felt a draw was not a bad result at Anfield – even though they had won there last season – and insisted Villa’s situation was not as bad as was being portrayed. “To concede before half-time was disappointing but to get a point out of it, at the end of the day, wasn’t a bad result,” he added. “It is probably a point earned because we worked hard for it and when you come to a place like this it is not the worst result. “Coming into this game we were 10th in the table so as bad as everyone says we are doing we aren’t that bad. “A few more results go our way and the next thing you know we are pushing our way up the table. We want to sort that out as quickly as possible.” For Liverpool, they remain well in Champions League contention at the very least, and sat two points above Merseyside rivals Everton ahead of their match away to West Brom on Monday evening. Press Association The goalkeeper said: “I asked (Suarez) – because I was pretty confident in myself I hadn’t touched him – ‘Did I touch you?’ and he said ‘I don’t know’. “That is the honest truth of it. Sometimes they go for you, sometimes not. “Obviously the referee has given it but at the time I thought I pulled my hands back and I don’t think I made contact with him. “I don’t know if the referee can see that or not as I don’t know his positioning. From my point of view it is probably a soft decision. “I think Suarez was probably a bit surprised to have it given but those are the decisions and you have to get on with it and go again.” Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson defended Suarez against any insinuation he had dived. “It was a penalty. There is contact and it was a definite penalty,” he said. “It’s too easy to point the finger at Luis sometimes. Because it’s Luis Suarez people will say it’s not a penalty but I’ve seen it again and the referee got it right.” Steven Gerrard converted the spot-kick after goals from Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke put Villa in charge, with Daniel Sturridge’s effort just before half-time offering the Reds hope. Villa were unhappy with the penalty award by referee Jon Moss as they felt there was no contact on Suarez after he went past Guzan. last_img read more