Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, has dismissed reports that Man U captain Wayne Rooney was told to leave Old Trafford to get regular first-team football.
The 31-year-old England forward has not started a league game since the 3-1 defeat to Watford on 18 September and has missed United’s last two games with injury.
“There is no problem at all but you need stories to sell papers,” said the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss.
“[Rooney] is a top player, a very important player for us,” added Mourinho. “He is going nowhere – we like him, he likes us. He’s not happy because he’s been on the bench but he is even unhappier when he’s injured.”
Wayne Rooney is now fit after recovering from the calf injury that forced him to miss Sunday’s 4-0 defeat to Chelsea and Wednesday’s EFL Cup win over Manchester City.
He is just four goals short of surpassing Sir Bobby Charlton’s tally of 249 goals for United, to become the club’s all-time record goalscorer. But he has scored just once this season and has not found the net in his last 10 games for United.
Mourinho also said he believes midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan can become an important player for United, but needs time to adapt to the “intensity and aggression” of the English game.
Mkhitaryan is not injured,” he said, “Sometimes I confuse the meaning ‘fit’ in English language. Sometimes fit is ready to compete.
“Some players are really adapted to come and play and not to feel. Some players they need time, to feel it, to feel the intensity, time to feel the aggression, the game without the ball.”
The Armenian, 27, signed for £26m from Borussia Dortmund in July, having been voted Bundesliga player of the year last season.
He has only played 104 minutes all season and has not featured since being taken off at half-time in the league defeat by Manchester City on 10 September.