Wayne Rooney has opened up on his threat to quit Manchester United in a brutally honest reflection of his actions in 2010.
Rooney should be remembered as a United’s all-time record goalscorer and a club great, but some pockets of the fanbase have never truly forgiven him after his decision to leave the club before performing an extraordinary U-turn a decade ago.
The 35-year-old’s relationship broke down with Sir Alex Ferguson after he told the United boss he wanted to leave Old Trafford.
Rooney was unhappy with the club’s ambitions and sought a move elsewhere to progress his career.
But after a whirlwind two days after announcing his intention to be sold, he signed a new five-year contract (BBC Sport) and his relationship with Ferguson appeared to be amended.
Rooney has admitted he regrets his initial decision that was made on pure emotion rather than thought through clearly.
The relationship with Sir Alex took a little bit of a hit because of me trying to think of the bigger picture,Rooney told the UTD podcast.
Obviously, as he told me, it was none of my business.
I think it’s good [the relationship with the fans]. It [also] took a hit in 2010 when I asked to leave the club, which I get. I understand the frustration from the fans over that. But I think, again, there were other things going on and I had frustrations myself with the way the club was going.
“We’d sold [Carlos] Tevez and sold [Cristiano] Ronaldo and, when United asked me about and offered me a five-year deal, it was going to be my last contract really in terms of a big contract where I was coming into the peak of my career.
“I really wanted assurances as we were selling these players so who were we going to bring in? Are we going to build for the next three years, then basically we need to go for players who are proven players.
“That’s where I was but I think, rightly so, the manager told me it was none of my business.
“I said fine, I respect your decision on that. You’re the manager but, if you can’t give me those assurances, it’s best I leave the club.
“It was all quick and something I regret now.
“Obviously, I went to speak to David Gill after that and he was obviously a bit calmer than Sir Alex was at the time!
“I think it was two or three days down the line when I actually signed the deal and it was all something that happened very quickly. Decisions were getting made on emotions rather than sitting down and thinking them through.”
Rooney went on to finish his United career with 253 goals before he left to return to boyhood club Everton in 2017.
After signing his new contract in 2010, he won two more Premier League titles as well as FA Cup and Europa League winners medals.