Roberto Mancini insists Manchester City have not made contact with Wayne Rooney and he expects the striker to stay with Manchester United.
Rooney has told United that he wants to leave Old Trafford and with only 18 months remaining on his existing contract, he could be sold as early as January in order for the club to maximise his transfer value.
United’s neighbours City have been made favourites to sign Rooney, who turns 25 on Sunday, and are the club best-placed to meet the player’s demands.
Asked if there had been contact between City and the player, Mancini said: “No. Never.”
Mancini echoed the comments of Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho, who said on Tuesday night he expected the player to stay at Old Trafford.
“Rooney is a great player, but I think he’ll stay at United,” said Mancini. “He’s a good player, he’s an important player for United.”
Pressed on whether he would be keen to sign the striker, Mancini added: “He is a United player. It’s not correct to speak about that situation.
“I have respect for him, for Ferguson, for United. I want to speak only about my players.
“It’s not my problem. I’m City manager. I have a lot of problems with my players. It’s important for me to focus on tomorrow’s game.
“He is a strong player like (Fernando) Torres, like (Lionel) Messi, like Carlos Tevez, like (Mario) Balotelli. This is my opinion.”