Moyes sees Rooney as back-up to van Persie at Man Utd

New Manchester United manager David Moyes has revealed he sees a large part of Wayne Rooney’s role at the club to be providing back-up for Robin van Persie, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Moyes prefers to play with only one striker – he did so for years with Everton – and van Persie is his favoured centre-forward now he has pitched up at Old Trafford. Rooney could play in behind the Dutchman – in the role Marouane Fellaini filled last season with the Toffees – but Japan international Shinji Kagawa is a leading contender as well.

And Moyes confirmed that he wants Rooney more as cover for van Persie than as a partner for or alternative to. “Overall my thought on Wayne is, if for any reason we had an injury to Robin van Persie, we’ll need him,” Moyes said. “Wayne can play up on his own, he can play dropped in. It’s going to be a time to see how I work with Wayne.

Rooney is thought to want to leave United – although denies Sir Alex Ferguson’s claim that he handed in a transfer request last season – and Chelsea are particularly keen on the £40m England international. Not only has Moyes indicated he sees van Persie ahead of Rooney in the pecking order, but also that United would be fine without Rooney.

Manchester United isn’t about Wayne Rooney,” Moyes said. “Manchester United is about the team – the club. I won’t allow Wayne Rooney to become more important than the football club and the football team, because that’s the heart of it.” Moyes added that United were not inclined to discuss extending Rooney’s contract at the moment, despite the deal having only two years to run at the present time.

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