Wayne Rooney has suggested that as he gets older and loses some of his pace, he plans to play in central midfield. Having played there a few times last season when United were hit by injuries, Rooney grew to enjoy the role, although would still prefer to play up front for the time being.

“I did my bit by dropping into a central midfield role when the team got hit by injuries last season,” Rooney said in My Decade in the Premier League, which is being serialised by the Daily Mirror. “The manager thinks I can do a job there and, with the likes of Tom Cleverley, Anderson, Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher all missing games, he asked me to help out. When I get stuck into the action as a central playmaker, I love it. I get more of the ball, I’m involved loads and I even think about playing there permanently, but only later in my career. In midfield I don’t have to be as sharp as a forward. Once I feel that I haven’t got the sharpness needed to get away from defenders, I’ll probably drop back into midfield for a couple of seasons so I can still influence the game. In my heart I’d prefer it if I was playing up front, because I can still do a lot of damage, but the sacrifices don’t bother me.”