Jose Mourinho insists Wayne Rooney is “going nowhere” despite losing his starting spot for both Manchester United and England.
Speculation over Rooney’s future has increased over recent weeks after a slump in form saw him relegated to the bench, with reports earlier this week suggesting that Mourinho has told the 31-year-old to move elsewhere if he wants guaranteed first-team football.
However, the Man United boss has categorically denied those claims and reiterated that Rooney remains a firm part of his plans at Old Trafford.
“With [his age being] 31, I know he can [play on],” said Mourinho.
“I know he can, I know he’s a top player, I know he can play at the top level.
“I cannot make this kind of mental exercise of what is going to happen at 32, 33, 34 or 35. I can’t say that.
“What I can say is that he’s a very good player, he’s a very important player for us and he’s going nowhere. We like him, he likes us.
“He is not happy because in the last matches he was on the bench, but I think he’s even unhappier when he’s not on the bench because he’s been injured and has to stay in the stands.
“There are no problems at all.”
Well done to the lads tonight, great result and into the next round ?????? https://t.co/k9fRxHE8Wu
— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) October 26, 2016
Rooney has recovered from a minor knee injury and is back in contention for today’s encounter with Burnley, with Mourinho confident that England’s record scorer can cope with the increased scrutiny.
“I think he is a human being like everybody else,” Mourinho added.
“He has family, like everybody else. He has kids, the oldest one in an age where he can read, he can feel, he can get that, so if he is affected by that it’s just the human nature.
“The human nature that your industry doesn’t think about, but I think he’s a big boy, he’s a big character and he copes with the situation.”