David Moyes walked into the media room at Old Trafford’s Europa suit, along with Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic on his first public appearance as the league champions’ manager.
Not quite as much journalists and film crew that greeted Jose Mourinho’s return to Chelsea turned out, with “Wayne Rooney right at the top of the agenda.”
The Scot handed Rooney his Premier League debut in August 2002 before selling him to Manchester United two years later for an initial £20m. Nine years since joining United, the 27-year-old England international has become the subject of various transfer speculations.
Moyes said: “I have known Rooney since he was 16, when he was at Everton. It is a little bit of a déjà vu. He is training really well, he is coming back in good shape and I am looking forward to working with him.”
The former Everton boss, who guided the Merseyside club to a fifth place finish in 2005, thus booked a place in the qualifying stages of the Champions League, said the Old Trafford job got to him on a silver platter.
“I feel incredibly privileged that I was given the opportunity,” Moyes opened his press conference.
“I was grateful to Sir Alex and the board for making that happen. I knew nothing about the job until Sir Alex gave me the call and asked me and the first thing he said was he was retiring and then he said ‘You’re the next manager,’ and that was enough. I was shocked.”
Rooney was reported to have handed in a transfer request to outgoing manager Sir Alex Ferguson on the former manager’s last game at Old Trafford. Recent reports claim the new top helmsman has told the England international to formerly put his transfer request into writing.
But he claimed the issue’s concerning Rooney’s departure became a bygone since the departure of Sir Alex, stating critically that Rooney remains a United property.
“I don’t know what those two gentlemen said-Sir Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney. That conversation was private and as far as I am concerned I am looking forward to working with Wayne,” said Moyes.
“I can categorically tell you that Wayne Rooney has trained fantastically well since I’ve been here. Wayne Rooney will not be sold by Manchester United. We have spoken several times and what has happened before has gone now.
“We are working together now,” Moyes added. “I have seen a bit of a glint in his eye. He looks very happy and looks as if he’s going to knuckle down.”
On the return of Mourinho for a second spell at Chelsea and the recruitment of Manuel Pellegrini from Malaga by rivals Manchester City, Moyes said the “shake-up” in the English League is a sign of a brighter future.
“There will be improvement from all the clubs. I’m pleased to see Jose (Mourinho) back. He’s been very successful and he’s someone everyone will enjoy having back in the Premier League. I’ve come across (Manuel) Pellegrini a couple of times at Villareal and Malaga.
“It’s the first time there’s been a real shake-up and it will be new to a lot of clubs. There’s a lot of things unknown about how things will pan out,” Moyes said.