Football: Striker Wayne Rooney key to England's plans, says manager Roy Hodgson

LONDON (AFP) - Wayne Rooney is an integral part of the England set-up, regardless of whether he is playing regular first-team club football, national manager Roy Hodgson said on Monday.

The 27-year-old's future at Manchester United remains uncertain, with the striker unsettled at Old Trafford and Chelsea having shown interest in the player.

Hodgson conceded that he would prefer Rooney's future to be decided, even if United manager David Moyes insisted that he was not for sale, but said he had encountered similar situations before.

"In my year and a bit as national team manager, I have been faced many many times with situations where players are not necessarily always playing in their team. But because they have the talent and the quality and the skills we are looking for they have still managed to be selected," Hodgson said before England's friendly with Scotland on Wednesday.

He added: "Rooney will always be considered for England while he's physically fit because he's one of our best players."