- Premier League
Site apologises for 'untrue' Rooney-to-Newcastle story
A story suggesting Newcastle United had begun discussions with Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was "untrue", the website responsible has said.
SportsDirect News, an affiliate of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's company Sports Direct, published a story on Wednesday claiming the club had begun "low-level discussions" with Rooney's representatives over a possible move in the summer.
Rooney has handed in a transfer request at Old Trafford, with clubs including Manchester City and Chelsea believed to be interested in his signature. Bayern Munich, however, have denied any interest in the England forward.
SportsDirect News then claimed Newcastle - who tried to sign Rooney from Everton, prior to his move to United - were in the hunt for the striker, but have subsequently apologised to the player and his agents for publishing a story that was "without merit and untrue".
A statement read: "SportsDirect News wishes to express its sincere apologies to Wayne Rooney and [his agents] Triple Sports and Entertainment Group for publishing the article 'Newcastle in shock Rooney bid', which was formulated and published without authority, merit and is untrue."
The original story has since been deleted.