Sir Alex Ferguson's replacement as Manchester United manager, David Moyes, has given Wayne Rooney hope for his Old Trafford future despite the striker requesting a transfer.
Ferguson said on Sunday Rooney "wasn't keen to play" for the Barclays Premier League champions in their win against Swansea City, as he considers his future with one game of the season remaining.
Moyes, who successfully sued Rooney in 2008 for comments made in the former Everton hero's autobiography, however extolled a player whose future now lies in his hands once again.
Moyes' relationship with Rooney has improved in recent years
"I don’t watch all the Manchester United games, I have had my own job,” Moyes said during a speech to Cambridge University’s Union Society on Monday. "But I do see international games and you are talking about one of the best players in the world. If you are an England supporter, you are thinking what a great player you have. If you are from Scotland, you’re saying, ‘Oh no!’ But he is a brilliant player. He has had a very good career.”
Rooney experienced a mixed reception during United's open top bus trophy parade on Monday, with one young fan holding up a sign which read "Sod off Rooney".
The majority of United fans appear to have run out of patience with a player who has asked to leave the club in two of the last three seasons, although Ferguson's retirement could convince Rooney to make another U-turn.
In October 2010, Rooney signed a five-year contract three days after Ferguson confirmed he wanted to move on, however the pair's relationship has not fully recovered, with Rooney last season fined and dropped for the New Year's Eve defeat to Blackburn after going out drinking over the Christmas period.
After a poor performance in the opening day loss at Everton, Ferguson dropped Rooney for the home win against Fulham and described the Croxteth striker as "stocky" in September. The England forward's demotion for the return leg against Real Madrid further exacerbated his rapport with the Scot.
Rooney's 2006 autobiography is littered with details concerning his two seasons at Everton under Moyes between 2002 and 2004. Two of the chapters are titled "Trouble with Moyes" and "I Don’t Want To Play For You Ever Again."
He writes of his irritation when Moyes blocks Coleen McLoughlin from accompanying him to the 2002 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards and how Moyes tells to “Stay away from [Duncan] Ferguson. He’s a bad example to you.”
Another time, Moyes accuses Rooney of “eating too many f***ing McDonalds” and Rooney accuses him of jealousy.
"I began to think there was one person who seemed to be a bit upset and envious of what was happening to me – and that was Moyes," Rooney writes.
"I would have gone anywhere to get away from Liverpool and David Moyes."