Last updated : 25 August 2004 By Editor
The Rooney [yawwwwnnnnn] saga continues:

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has remained typically tight-lipped about any move for Everton's Wayne Rooney.

“It remains unlikely (that we will make any pre-deadline signings). You say 'unlikely' and I agree with you.

“Yes (Newcastle have made a bid for Rooney). And that is all you will get from me.”

The Guardian reports:

Wayne Rooney has informed his manager David Moyes that he wishes to leave Everton, with the Scot threatening to follow him out of Goodison Park if the England striker is sold for anything less than £30m.

Rooney met Moyes at the club's Bellefield training ground on Monday and expressed his desire for a transfer, with talks at an impasse over a new five-year contract and the teenager deeply upset by allegations, backed up by closed-circuit television footage, that he has visited brothels in Liverpool.

Rooney is braced for further lurid revelations. That has convinced him and his adviser, Paul Stretford of the Formation Group plc, that his career - as well as his increasingly fragile relationship with his fiancee, Coleen - may be better furthered away from Merseyside.

Bobby Robson on Newcastle’s supposed offer:

"It's £20m cash - genuine - you could buy a club for that. And Rooney's not just another striker. You're talking about buying the most exciting, brilliant young player in Europe. You can't blame me for trying to do that. You should be looking to applaud the chairman, not bury him.

"Manchester United can't buy Rooney. The most famous and rich club in the country can't buy him. I know Alex [Ferguson] would love him, so why don't they make an offer?

"We're aware of what we've lost and we're fully aware we need a replacement and we're diligently working on that issue. You will appreciate it's not easy. We're being quoted more money for some players than we received for Woodgate.
"There's a fair amount of money available, it's what we do with it. The chairman has bankrolled my judgment. We're looking for a genuine quality player. We need a steadfast, proper centre-half.”

Meanwhile, despite their links with Rooney’s agents Proactive:

Newcastle have angrily denied that their interest in England striker Wayne Rooney is part of a conspiracy to secure the teenager's passage to rivals Manchester United.

They have vehemently denied claims they have tabled their offer in an attempt to spark a bidding war which will lead to Sir Alex Ferguson getting his hands on Rooney and easing their own path to John O'Shea, one of the men being tipped as a potential replacement for Jonathan Woodgate.

Newcastle are now considering taking legal action over the matter as the future of one of the English game's most promising youngsters again comes under the spotlight.

"Those allegations are offensive and absurd," a statement read. "The suggestion that Newcastle United would be helping one of its main competitors secure one of the most talented players in Europe is bizarre.

"The club has already confirmed its interest in Rooney and the club has been working on the bid for a number of weeks.

"He would be a tremendous asset to the club. Newcastle is taking the allegations of conspiracy very seriously and is currently seeking legal advice.”

You’ll be a long time waiting for any writ to actually be issued though.