Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has stated in no uncertain terms that he will not sell Wayne Rooney while he is at the Old Trafford helm.
The 30-year-old striker has struggled to hold down a regular starting berth under the Portuguese tactician this term, leading to suggestions that the England international could be placed on the transfer list in the near future.
However, Mourinho has dismissed such notions, highlighting Rooney's legendary status at the club, although he admits it has been difficult to consign the United stalwart to the substitutes bench.
When asked if he was considering selling Rooney, Mourinho told Sky Sports News HQ: "No, never.
"I will never make that decision. A player of his stature, a player of his history in the club will never go to point where club or manager want to make that decision for him.
"I put him [Rooney] on the bench for three matches in a row. That is hard for him, hard for me, so that is being ruthless, to put in my mind the interests of the team in front of the player, prestige, status. In this case even legend.
"To put on bench a player with the numbers he has for club and country is hard.
"But as we were saying before, this is an industry where the people who leads, sometimes in a correct decision, sometimes not correct decisions, but in our mind, the decisions we think is the best for the team."
Mourinho also explained why he felt that Rooney had struggled to perform to his usual high standards this season.
"I think it then created a bit of a doubt in relation to his role, to his position, to his future and I think players especially in moments of less confidence, they need to be clear in his head," he added.
"He cannot be jumping from No 6 to No 9, or No 9 to No 10, or No 9 to No 6. For me, he is an attacking player. What is an attacking player for me? For him, a 9 or 10.
"Play No 6, play in midfield, not with me unless we need it and unless we ask him to do that, but with me, I want the ideas completely clear. He is a second striker, plays behind the striker or as a striker. That's what I think is Wayne Rooney."