LONDON (AFP) - Wayne Rooney has hit back at claims he removed the name Manchester United from his Twitter homepage as part of an attempt to force a transfer from the Premier League champions.
United striker Rooney is reported to have told boss Alex Ferguson two weeks ago that he wanted leave Old Trafford after losing patience with his slightly diminished role in the second half of the season.
Ferguson is said to have rejected the request and United have since stated they have no intention of selling the England international, who has been played out of position in midfield at times this term and was dropped for a crucial Champions League clash against Real Madrid.
But it is the second time Rooney has expressed his desire to leave United after he previously questioned the club's ambitions back in 2010.
And when it was noted that Rooney no longer had the words Manchester United on his Twitter page, and instead referred to himself as an "athlete", it was interpreted as a sign the 27-year-old sees his future away from Old Trafford.
However, Rooney is adamant he remains committed to United, who will be managed his old Everton boss David Moyes from next season following Ferguson's announcement that he will retire at the end of the current campaign.
Rooney released a statement on his website, www.officialwaynerooney.com, which read: "There's a load of rubbish being written about me changing twitter bio saying I have deleted Manchester United from it.
"I have never deleted Manchester United from the bio whatever the papers are saying because it was never on there.
"All that happened was that I was asked by Nike to add @nikeuk to it - the same as many other sportspeople they sponsor.
"Funny, no one's written about that though! That change was made THREE weeks ago and yet people are talking about it as if it's something that was put up yesterday."