Alex Ferguson denies there is any bad blood between him and Wayne Rooney
Former Manchester United boss also reveals that the Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, tried to lure him to Stamford Bridge in 2003
Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney shake hands in happier times.
Alex Ferguson has denied there is any bad blood between him and Wayne Rooney and claimed the striker would “shake my hand” if he saw the former Manchester United manager.
Ferguson also stated that he wanted Gary Neville to join his coaching staff when the former captain retired in February 2011 but the right-back refused.
Rooney had wanted to leave United in the summer following the gradual breakdown of his relationship with Ferguson towards the end of last season, which culminated in a meeting between the two men. Ferguson later claimed that Rooney had made an official transfer request, which was denied by the forward’s camp and privately accepted by United as not having happened.
‘Shake my hand’
Speaking to the interviewer Charlie Rose on the American network PBS, Ferguson responded when it was put to him that his relationship with Rooney had ended badly. “No, I don’t think so. I think if Wayne walked in here today, he would shake my hand.”
Asked when the last time was that they had shaken, Ferguson said: “The day we won the title. You know, when he was presented with the cup was the last time.”
Regarding Neville, who is now Sky Sports leading football pundit and a member of the England coaching staff, Ferguson said: “Fantastic character. Gary gets up every morning at six, reads every newspaper. He wants to know what’s going on in the world and more about everything.
“He’s such a successful person. He’s no genius but he’s really good, really good. He’s also doing his very own business. I wanted to bring him on the staff. He didn’t want to, a very determined character.”
Ferguson also revealed that the Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, tried to lure him to Stamford Bridge in 2003, after he had just won his eighth title at Manchester United .
Ferguson said: “They used an agent to approach me when Abramovich first took over the club and I said: ‘No chance.’”
The 71-year-old insisted that whatever the Russian might yet offer him, he could not countenance coming out of retirement to take over at Chelsea. “He’ll say to you look, come manage Chelsea. I will give you the greatest stable of horses . . . ” Rose suggested.
Ferguson replied: “I know. You always dream you have the Derby winner. I have a share in the horse that was a favourite for the Derby this year – Telescope – good horse. It will come back next year, but it’s a very good horse.
“Everyone dreams we have a winner, Derby winner, whatever. But you know, as I said, I made my mind up. I’m looking forward to my new career and my new challenges.”
Ferguson also backed his successor David Moyes, insisting United are in “good hands” with the former Everton manager, despite their worst start to a league season in 24 years. He added that he harbours no regrets about his retirement and no longer gets “worked up about Manchester United’s results”, saying he would not be tempted to come back should he be asked to.
“I’m not interested in managing again or getting myself worked up about Manchester United’s results. You would be throwing your money down the drain if you put any money on me coming back as a manager.
“I made my decision. The timing was perfect. There is no way back for me now. I’ve got a new life. I want to go to the Kentucky Derby and the US Masters, the Melbourne Cup. I want to visit vineyards in Tuscany and France.”