Rooney fights for his United future as 20m bid might tempt fed-up Ferguson to sell
22:31 GMT, 6 March 2013
10:11 GMT, 7 March 2013
Wayne Rooney is facing a desperate fight to save his Manchester United career as manager Sir Alex Ferguson continues to harbour grave doubts about his fitness and attitude.
Ferguson stunned football by dropping the England forward to the bench for Tuesday night's Champions League defeat against Real Madrid at Old Trafford.
The United manager believes Rooney has failed to get on top of the weight and fitness issues that have dogged him since the start of the season and is fed up with waiting for an improvement.
Benched: Wayne Rooney started Tuesday night's game as a substitute after he was axed by Sir Alex Ferguson
Axed: Rooney's relationship with his manager is said to be tense after a difficult season at Old Trafford
With Rooney, 27, entering the final two years of his contract this summer, Ferguson knows he has a decision to make about his future.
As it stands, the Scot will not rule out selling him at the end of the season if the club can attract a bid of more than 20million.
Sources in both camps have told Sportsmail that the relationship between the pair has been tense for some time and shows no signs of getting better. Senior players say privately that they can sense it at the training ground on a daily basis.
Rooney acknowledges that he and Ferguson have not been on the best of terms for much of this season but disputes suggestions that he has not looked after himself.
Super-rich Paris Saint-Germain have an interest in Rooney, while United's neighbours Manchester City would take the former Everton star in an instant if they thought their rivals would sell to them.
City tried to buy Rooney in the autumn of 2010, prompting United to raise their wage ceiling to keep him.
His former United and England team-mate Michael Owen told talkSPORT: 'It's got to be a big worry for Rooney. It's the biggest game of the season and the manager has shuffled his pack and not included him.
'A couple of years ago, if Wayne wasn't the first-choice striker, he would have played him in left midfield or in behind the striker. For him not to start is a real kick in the teeth.
Real misery: Rooney could not prevent United crashing out of the Champions League to the Spanish giants
End of the road Rooney will be weighing up his future at Old Trafford after he was snubbed by Ferguson
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'Wayne will either get his head down, try to improve and force his way back into the team, or he'll think, “The manager has not picked me for the biggest game, he obviously doesn't fancy me”, and it might not be the end of the story.'
Meanwhile, UEFA have charged United for failing to fulfil their media obligations after Tuesday night's 2-1 defeat that put them out of the Champions League.
Bidding war: Both Manchester City and PSG would be interested should United choose to sell Rooney
Not only did Ferguson not attend the press conference after the game, United also failed to provide two players for post-match interviews, as mandated under UEFA rules.
Nani, who was sent off by referee Cuneyt Cakir with United leading 1-0, will definitely be banned for one European game at least.
His case, and United's, will be heard by UEFA on March 21. It will not be known if players like United defender Rio Ferdinand will face sanction for their actions after the game until Cakir files his report, probably later today.