Wayne Rooney Taunts Sir Alex Ferguson over Manchester United Transfer Request

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor IOctober 24, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Manchester United and Real Sociedad at Old Trafford on October 23, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney has accused former manager Sir Alex Ferguson of backtracking over claims that the England international handed in a transfer request last season.

Over the summer, Rooney was reportedly furious at reports sparked by Ferguson that he had handed in a request, with the Mirror's Steve Bates writing that the striker was demanding an apology from the Scot.

However, following the publication of Ferguson's book this week, Rooney believes the matter has been clarified in his favour, while also pointedly praising United's new coaching setup:

The Daily Mail's Neil Ashton quotes Rooney, who told ITV:

The new coaching staff have come in an given me a new lease of life. I'm really enjoying working with David Moyes. We're working to try and be successful as a team. We've got a lot of players hungry.

Obviously he's (Ferguson) got his own opinion. I've not said nothing and thankfully he's come back and corrected the story that I put a transfer request in. He's come back and proved that I didn't, so I'm thankful for him for it.

I haven't seen him since he retired so I'm happy under the new management and we're working to get results under David Moyes and his coaching staff. That's the main thing for me. The other stuff doesn't concern me.

Ferguson admitted this week Rooney did not officially hand in a transfer request, but insisted the player only stopped short of doing so for financial reasons. Sky Sports provides Ferguson's quotes:

This is the nub of it: in the regulations, in your contract, if you write a letter and ask away or say you have asked away, you lose all your signing-on fees.

He has never admitted that and never put in a written transfer request, which is what he has been sore at.

While Rooney has now taken the high ground over the situation, Ferguson's side of the story actually paints the striker in an even worse light, suggesting he wanted to leave United but only decided not to hand in a transfer request because of money.

Rooney's reaction came after his club's 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night—a result which, while not convincing, will be a boost to the Moyes reign.

While affairs have not been progressing quite as planned in the Premier League, a late Southampton goal in a 1-1 draw last weekend the latest setback, two wins and an away draw in Ukraine have handed Moyes a fine start in European competition—although difficult trips to Sociedad and Bayer Leverkusen lie ahead.

Rooney has been integral to the Moyes era thus far, with his former Everton boss having fought off Chelsea's advances to retain the player in the summer, before installing Rooney as a permanent feature as his side's No. 10.

The response has been emphatic, with Rooney contributing five goals already this season as well as three assists, and his impact on Wednesday night—in which his shot against the post led directly to United's only goal of the game—drew praise from his new manager, per Sky Sports.

Rooney still has some way to go to win over United's fans, with many still seething after seeing the striker attempt to move away from the club for the second time in just three seasons. However, his professional response to the controversy thus far will have gone some way to convincing some to at least give him a second (or even third) chance.

At his best, Rooney is central to the United side in attacking areas and, thus far this season, that has very much been the case. That he can play both a predatory and a creative role makes him a manager's dream, with his versatility having been used to great effect in the past.

However, part of the reason for Rooney's dismay last campaign was that he hoped to feature as a striker more often—something which Moyes has allowed him to do thus far.

He is, at present, justifying that faith and, as United begin to move away from the Ferguson era, Rooney can make himself central to the club's future once more.

At times he has appeared dispensable in recent years but, in Moyes, he has a manager who is prepared to concede to his demands. Rooney appears willing to justify his manager's faith.