MANCHESTER UNITED manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists Wayne Rooney did not threaten to leave Old Trafford in order to engineer a huge wage hike.
Rooney walked away from contract talks and demanded a move last month, flirting with rivals Manchester City and complaining about United’s lack of ambition.
The striker performed a swift U-turn and signed a new deal worth around £200,000 a week, but Ferguson believes it was not greed but a sales pitch from agent Paul Stretford that made Rooney ask to leave.
“Some young people take bad advice. He has an agent who is not the most popular man in the world and he obviously sold it to Wayne to ask away. The boy rushed in,” he said.
“But the minute he heard the response of the public and our supporters, he changed his mind, he knew he’d made a mistake.
“There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you recognise it. He immediately apologised and agreed a new contract within a couple of hours.
“It wasn’t done to get the contract, I don’t think that for a minute. But maybe he should’ve listened to better advice.”
Ferguson, speaking at a conference in Qatar, said he wanted to examine Rooney’s condition before deciding whether he was fit enough to face Wigan on Saturday.
The 25-year-old returned to England last weekend after spending a week working on his fitness at the headquarters of sponsors Nike, where he is said to have lost half a stone.
“We want to get Wayne back to his best,” said Ferguson. “He’s had a good week in the States and we’ve got him to the point where we want him to be in terms of accelerating his fitness. Is he ready for the first team? We’ll have to assess that when I get back.”