• Champions League

Rooney rattled by questions about transfer request

ESPN staff
September 17, 2013
Rooney's form has improved since the close of the transfer window

Wayne Rooney scored his 200th goal for Manchester United in his side's 4-2 Champions League win against Bayer Leverkusen, before again refusing to dismiss the rumours that he asked to leave the club last summer.

Rooney was constantly linked with a move away from United throughout the summer, with Chelsea having two bids for the striker turned down even though Jose Mourinho later claimed it was Rooney and his advisers who were encouraging the west London club to push to seal a transfer.

Rooney has yet to speak publicly on the events of the summer and he again opted to side-step the issue when quizzed by ITV Sport in the immediate aftermath of his latest sparkling display.

"Listen, I will concentrate on my football as I have done all summer," was his response to a question about his commitment to United. "I got my head down in the summer, worked hard and I'm concentrating on my football. The fans here have been fantastic with me and the reception I get here is great. Hopefully I can reward them with goals and performances tonight."

On a night when Rooney played once again with a head guard to protect the laceration in his scalp that was sustained a little over two weeks ago, the England striker preferred to focus on his achievement of becoming only the fourth player to notch a double century of goals for United as he gave one of his first interviews in many a long month.

"It's something I'm very proud of, I'm pleased to score 200 goals for a club like Manchester United and hopefully there is more to come," he added. "I'm delighted to be back playing and scoring and this was a good result. The first game in the Champions League is always important and thankfully we got the victory."

United manager David Moyes joined the chorus of praise flowing in Rooney's direction, even though the striker who ultimately grabbed all the headlines was guilty of a glaring second half miss that came a minute before a Leverkusen equaliser that rocked Old Trafford.

"We did a lot of good things, missed a lot of chances, but got the job done in the end," stated a relieved Moyes. "The players knew what they had to do and they went about it well.

"I thought Wayne was terrific tonight. I said a month or six weeks ago that he had a chance to join the real greats here, but he deserved the ovation he got. He looks fit and lean and he showed that in his performance again. He could have had a hat-trick tonight, but he was fantastic.

"Robin van Persie's goal was great as well and if we can get those two scoring, then they will be formidable that would help to get us as many points as possible."

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