Manchester United have re-entered negotiations with Wayne Rooney’s agent, Paul Stretford, on a day when the striker was made aware of the outrage outrage felt by the club’s supporters at his decision to leave the club.
A group of about 40 supporters travelled to his home in the village of Prestbury to vent their fury at Rooney, who released a statement on Wednesday confirming he wants to leave the club as it no longer matches his ambitions.
According to reports one banner carried the message: “Sign for City and you’re dead.” The fans repeatedly buzzed his intercom, saying: “We want to talk to you, Wayne. We want you to explain the real reason you want to leave. We’re not going to hurt you.”
On Friday morning, a poster in Manchester city centre showing Rooney’s face was sprayed with the message: “Join City and you’re dead.”
Police were called to the striker’s home at 8.30pm and 30 people, many wearing Eric Cantona masks, were moved on by a team of eight officers.
The group’s leader, who has not been named, told the Sun: “We don’t believe what Rooney said about his reasons for leaving the club. We want answers. The club is struggling for money but it was struggling for money four months ago – so what’s changed?
“He has got himself in a mess in his private life and we understand if he wants to run away abroad, but the least we deserve is that he’s honest with us. If he joins City it’s going to go off and he’ll be seeing us again.”
A spokesman for the police said: “Cheshire Police can confirm that at 8.30pm, a call was received from a resident in Prestbury regarding 20 to 30 people assembling outside their address.
“Police attended the scene and the group dispersed peacefully. No offences were disclosed.”
The incident occurred just hours after talks aimed at thrashing out Rooney’s future between Sir Alex Ferguson, the player’s agent and United officials ended with no resolution.
“We are aware there is intense public and media interest on the club at the moment. I can confirm a number of meetings have taken place, including with the player’s representative,” said chief executive David Gill. “The outcome of those meetings will become clear in the near future. In the meantime fans are asked to be patient.”