SPORT
22/10/2013 10:00 BST | Updated 22/10/2013 15:20 BST

Wayne Rooney Wanted To Leave After United Didn't Sign Özil, Says Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson says Wayne Rooney's motivations behind his 2010 transfer request partly stemmed from Manchester United's failure to sign Mesut Özil.

Özil, now thriving at Arsenal, joined Real Madrid from Werder Bremen after the World Cup amid casual interest from United.

Rooney asked Ferguson for a transfer in August as he did not think the club was ambitious enough, having signed Chris Smalling, Javier Hernández and Bébé in the summer. Ferguson pointed out United had won the Premier League and League Cup the previous year, and had reached a second consecutive Champions League final.

"We can all moralise but everyone will commit their indiscretions. I was never going to moralise with Rooney," Ferguson writes.

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"David [Gill - chief executive] said that Wayne would be coming to see me. At that meeting, which was in October, he was hugely sheepish. I felt he'd been programmed in what he was trying to say."

"Wayne said that we should have pursued Mesut Özil. My reply was that it was none of his business who we should have gone for. I told him it was his job to play and perform. My job was to pick the correct teams."

Days later, Rooney did a U-turn and signed a five-year contract with United. He apologised to Ferguson, who told him: "It's the fans you should be apologising to."

Ferguson expands on his relationship with Rooney and hints at a tough love approach.

The Scot did not reach out to the former Everton striker over allegations surrounding his private life in the late summer of 2010, even though "he would have wanted me to". He concedes he felt under pressure to intervene during that year's World Cup, however.

"I knew there was something bugging him... I needed to get his attention. Yet the best way to achieve that was by not saying anything to him - to force him to think. When I left him out away to Everton in September, to protect him from abuse by the crowd, he was relieved, because he knew I was doing the right thing by him."

"I admit I gave Wayne a few rollockings. And he would rage in the dressing room when I picked him out for criticism. His eyes would burn, as if he wanted to knock my lights out. The next day he would be apologetic."

Rooney is described as "not the quickest learner" but a "remarkable raw talent". Ferguson does emphasise his frustration with the forward's fitness, though.

"Wayne needed to be careful. He has great qualities about him but they could be swallowed up by a lack of fitness.

"He would receive no leniency from me. I would hammer him for any drop in condition. It was quite simple - he wouldn't play.

"As time wore on, I felt he struggled more and more to do it for 90 minutes, and he seemed to tire in games."