"Overall my thought on Wayne is, if for any reason we had an injury to Robin van Persie, we'll need him," Moyes said after United's ill-fated opening match of their summer tour, which ended in defeat.
Moyes also claimed that Rooney wants to stay, but with Jose Mourinho admitting his interest and Rooney not confirming that he actually wishes to extend his nine years at United there is major doubt.
And United's new boss then went on to suggest that the club won't be manoeuvred into any new deal for the England striker.
"Wayne has got a major role to play, we need to get him as many goals as we can. Wayne can play up on his own, he can play dropped in," Moyes added.
"Manchester United are about the team, the club. We are talking about him now, and rightly so, but what I won't allow is Wayne to become more important than the football club and the football team."
Moyes's words are not the only indication that Rooney might be on his way out: United's new chief executive Ed Woodward insisted that there is no contract under discussion for Rooney despite the fact that he has just two years to run on his current deal.
The perceived wisdom has been if Rooney is to remain at Old Trafford then an extension will have to be negotiated, otherwise United risk either a collapse in the 27-year-old's market value or him leaving for nothing should he remain for a further two seasons.
Given their aggressive approach to the financial side of their club, it seemed impossible the Glazer family would allow that to happen. However, speaking to reporters in Thailand prior to Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Singha All Stars, Woodward said that is not the case.
"There are no contract renewals that are being discussed. I am not sitting down with any player on an extension and there is no trigger date in the diary," said Woodward.
"Would we be afraid to run a contract down? Of course not."
- Sports & Recreation
- Wayne Rooney