Manchester United have dismissed reports claiming that striker Ruud van Nistelrooy was about to quit the club and join Barcelona.

Van Nistelrooy recently signed a contract keeping him at Old Trafford until 2008.

“The talk that Ruud might be leaving this summer is rubbish,’ confirmed a spokesman for United.

“Why would the club have gone to such great efforts to negotiate a new contract if he wasn’t going to stay?”

Spanish media reports claim the Spanish club’s president Joan Laporta had met Van Nistelrooy’s agent Rodger Linse to discuss a possible move. Howevver, the agent admitts that such a move seems unlikely.

“There is only a possibility when the two clubs reach an agreement and until that happens, there is no sense in talking about it,” said Linse.

‘He has four years left at United and I can only act and speak to the player if his club give me permission and at the moment, I don’t have that.

“I don’t want to say that it’s impossible because I’m not Manchester United, nor do I represent them.

“But I think it’s a little complicated, although I insist this does not mean that van Nistelrooy doesn’t want to go to Barca.”