Sir Alex Ferguson has said Wayne Rooney will remain at Manchester United next season, despite reports the club would consider selling the striker.
Ferguson's relationship with Rooney has worsened since October 2010
Speculation regarding Rooney's future at the club has intensified after his demotion for United's Champions League tie with Real Madrid midweek, however his relationship with Ferguson has not fully recovered since he made a transfer request two seasons ago.
Ferguson however, speaking for the first time since Tuesday's elimination at the hands of Madrid, quashed this week's reports.
"The Wayne Rooney nonsense first? Or do you want to talk sense? The issue you're all going on about is rubbish. There's absolutely no issue between Wayne Rooney and I," Ferguson assured the media at his Friday press conference.
"To suggest we don't talk to each other on the training ground is absolute nonsense."
"The decision to not play him was purely tactical and he understood that. Wayne will be here next year. You have my word on that."
Ferguson added he had banned two newspapers for running stories regarding the Rooney issue.
"The issue you're all going on about in the papers is absolute rubbish. I've banned two papers from the press conference and they won't get back in here until they apologise," he bristled.
Despite how adamant Ferguson was, he has a history for reneging on pledges, such as when Real Madrid were courting Cristiano Ronaldo.
"You think I'd deal with that mob again? I wouldn't sell them a virus," he said in December 2008. Six months later Ronaldo had joined Madrid.
Inevitably, talk turned to Turkish referee Cüneyt Çakır's controversial decision to send Nani off against Madrid when United were 1-0 up.
Ferguson was enraged by Cüneyt Çakır's decision
So enraged by the decision was Ferguson that he refused to attend his post-match press conference, and he lamented the standard of refereeing on the continent three days later.
"It's hard to keep your faith when you see what's happened the last few years," the Scot added. "It's the third time we've been knocked out because of that. It's not easy to take but we're Manchester United and we have to get on with it.
"We now have an important issue of an FA Cup tie on Sunday. My job is to galvanise the troops, who were fantastic on Tuesday. So were the fans. We owe them a good performance."
Çakır spoke to Madrid newspaper AS today and said he had no regrets about sending Nani off in the 56th minute of the second leg.
"I have no doubts, the red card was correct. The world will realise truth over time," he stated.
Some light relief from Ferguson came via the subject of his old nemesis Rafael Benítez, interim coach of quarter-final opponents Chelsea this weekend.
"I'm not going to kick anyone when they're lying down. It's not my style," Ferguson chirped. Chelsea lost 1-0 against Steaua Bucharest in the first leg of their round-of-16 Europa League tie on Thursday night.