Keane sides with Rooney in striker’s United row

MANCHESTER United great Roy Keane has told unsettled striker Wayne Rooney to “look after No1” in any dispute with the Old Trafford hierarchy.

Rooney is being tipped to leave United after six years at the club amid rumours that his relationship with manager Sir Alex Ferguson has deteriorated beyond repair.

Keane, Ferguson’s trusted captain before a falling-out led to the midfielder leaving under a cloud in 2005, believes Rooney should put his own interests before the club’s.

“Players and managers fall out all the time. It’s part of life,” said Keane. “If I was to offer advice to Wayne, who is a good lad, I would tell him to make sure he looks after No1. Players are pieces of meat; that’s how I look at it. When your time’s up, your time’s up. Luckily for Wayne he’s at a good age and he’s fit.”

Real Madrid have been mooted as possible bidders for Rooney, who is said to have told United chiefs he will not discuss a new contract and wants to leave. But Real manager Jose Mourinho yesterday played down the prospect of a move for the England star, predicting he would patch up any differences with Ferguson.

“I don’t think he will [become available],” said Mourinho. “I think the big man will persuade him to stay.”

Ferguson is set to be pressed on Rooney when he faces the media today ahead of United’s Champions League clash with Bursaspor.