David Gill, Manchester United's former chief executive who is now a club director, has confirmed that Wayne Rooney will be a offered a new contract "without doubt" if he continues his early season form, and said there was never a chance he would have been allowed to join Chelsea.
Gill told Radio 5 Live that he expected Rooney, who has two years remaining on his contract and wanted to leave Old Trafford in the summer for Chelsea, to be given a new deal.
He said: "Without doubt, I'm sure they would look at it. We had an approach to dealing with players' contracts at Manchester United that's stood us in good stead for many years and I'm sure that Ed [Woodward, executive vice-chairman] and David [Moyes, the manager] and the owners will continue with that policy."
Although United privately admit Rooney never asked for a transfer despite Sir Alex Ferguson's claim that he did so towards the end of last season, Gill refused to publicly confirm this. "I'm not going to comment on that situation," he said. "I know you'd like me to say what I know. But I'm not going to. I think it's important to move forward now."
Gill also said that United would never have sanctioned such an important player joining one of their rivals. "We are not in the business of strengthening our key competitors in England," Gill said. "We wanted to keep [Rooney] in any event and not sell him overseas.
"You don't win football matches with money in the bank. You want players on the pitch. Wayne Rooney has been, and will continue to be I am sure, a great player for Manchester United."