Paul Parker

Rooney will be only loser if he messes Fergie around over new deal

Paul Parker

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The first thing you have to realise when you are talking about Sir Alex Ferguson is that he is fearless. No one player is bigger than Manchester United. That is why he has lasted 27 years as manager of one of the world's biggest football clubs. That is why he is the most successful manager in the history of the game. No player gets the better of Sir Alex. If they try to, they are quickly moved on from Old Trafford.

You have to look at the Wayne Rooney situation at United and wonder if agents talk their players out of a club. There are few media reports regarding Wayne this morning. Both are conflicting. One report says he wants to extend his contract at United, and that he has no plans to leave the club. The other suggests Paris Saint-Germain have already concluded a deal to sign him in the summer.

Now is that his agent trying to get him to a new club which would enhance the agent's own fee? Or is it the agent trying to force United into offering Wayne Rooney a new contract, perhaps a last contract at the club, for increased money? These are the questions that have to be asked.

Whatever is going on, such talk is doing Wayne Rooney's prospects at the club no good. Given the way this season has been for him and his performance levels in general, this is only harmful to the player.

If you look down through the years at players who have used the press and agents to get a better contract or a move away from United, you tend to find those players end up with no choice in the matter - they tend to be moved on very quickly from the club.

I watched Wayne play in midfield in the 2-0 win at Stoke City on Sunday. To be honest, it wasn't for me. He did okay, but I think he is wasted back there. He wasn't tested against Stoke, because that is not the same Stoke side of two years ago.

They really didn't apply any pressure in midfield. Tom Cleverley could have gone in there to allow Wayne to go up front in and round Robin van Persie. Javier Hernandez is not bad, but he never looks the part when he starts games. He is not really a necessity for United.

United didn't really look a threat against Stoke given the amount of time and space they had. Wayne Rooney's strength is always going to be in the final third, but he has to appreciate that he is not indispensable.

Sir Alex doesn't see one player better than anybody else in his teams. That is the key here. Yes, if they do well and conduct themselves properly, Sir Alex will make sure players are rewarded. But if they are seen to be taken liberties by using outside influences to pressurise the club then it is a dangerous game to play.

Wayne Rooney is Wayne Rooney. He is a fine player, but Sir Alex would have no hesitation in moving him on because something new will always come along. And it gives Sir Alex the opportunity to go out and get a different type of player.

I think Manchester United will already be planning to freshen up for next season despite regaining the Premier League title. United need something different because by their own standards, they have looked quite stale and sterile in certain games.

They need something new because clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea will move on and inevitably add extra quality to their squads. United have to be ready. They also have to careful because if they start the season the way they did this season, it isn't going to work.

United won't be able to come from behind so many times next season.

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