(AFP) – Oct 22, 2010
LONDON — Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he was surprised to hear that Wayne Rooney had agreed a new contract with Manchester United.
Rooney made a shock u-turn on Friday as he agreed the five-year deal just days after making it clear he wanted to leave United due to what he saw as the club's lack of ambition.
When United manager Sir Alex Ferguson went public with the club's dispute with Rooney, Wenger though the England striker was likely to be sold when the transfer window re-opened in January.
"Once the club came out and said that they couldn't find an agreement it was a message that they wanted to sell," Wenger said.
"Certainly Rooney has got the guarantees he wanted - you can translate that like you want, but that's it."
Wenger insisted that, unlike the rest of the football world, he was never fascinated by the saga.
"It was just a story that for me, from the start to the end, was of no interest to me. When I saw the headlines I just turned the page," Wenger said.
"I was never really interested in that story because what happened with Wayne Rooney happens to every club, every year - plenty of times.
"Just because he has a different name it was certainly a story, but it is a super-classical story which happens in every club, every week, so I could never understand what was really special in this case."
Chelsea had been linked with a move for Rooney when news of his discontent first broke, but Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti claimed he never expected the player to leave United.
"I'm not surprised," Ancelotti said. "Manchester United are happy to keep a fantastic player. I think that Rooney did a fantastic job for Manchester United and, in the future, I think he will do the same."
Meanwhile, former United midfielder Lou Macari believes Rooney will have to work hard to rebuild relationships with his team-mates.
"I'm shocked," Macari told Sky Sports News. "His statement was undermining the players, was undermining the manager.
"Saying that the manager's got no ambition and the clubs got no ambition and all that. You're pointing the finger at everyone at Manchester United, not just the owners in America.
"So there's a bit of rebuilding to be done. I think supporters hold the key to how well Wayne does in the future, whether they're going to forgive him and accept him back."
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