Moyes sidesteps Rooney issue but heaps praises on Van Persie

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 July, 2013, 3:40am

Manchester United manager David Moyes was in no mood yesterday to discuss Wayne Rooney's future at the club, but a week's training in Australia has certainly convinced him of Robin van Persie's value to the team.

A comment made by the Scotsman to reporters in Thailand last weekend, to the effect that Rooney was important in case anything happened to Van Persie, has left the England striker "angered and confused" about his position at Old Trafford.

Premier League rivals Chelsea this week pounced to make a bid for the 27-year-old forward, who left United's pre-season tour early to receive treatment on a hamstring injury, but the offer was rebuffed by the English champions.

At a news conference ahead of today's second tour match against an A-League All-Star XI in Sydney, Moyes curtly dismissed a question about Rooney's future by saying the club's position "hasn't changed".

Moyes does expect to hear more news about a bid for Cesc Fabregas over the next "day or so", however, and he waxed lyrical about the "massive" importance of the Barcelona midfielder's former Arsenal teammate Van Persie.

"I got to see him this week for the first time, and his control, his touch, his awareness ... the finishing that he's done this week," he said, almost in awe of the skills of the Dutchman who scored 30 goals for United last season.

"And I've really been impressed by his professionalism as well. He's never complained about a thing, he's got on with the work, he's trained hard.

"What we're doing is trying to get him in a condition where he is ready to do exactly what he did last year, which was score goals for Manchester United and was a really big influence on the team and the performances."