With several tabloids putting two and two together and making five, Sir Alex Ferguson has set the record straight on why Wayne Rooney was left out of the starting team against Fulham. Rumours have been rife that our striker was ready to leave the club this transfer window, with City being the team mentioned again.

Whilst it should have been fairly obvious, given Rooney’s inability to keep up at Goodison Park, looking totally shattered by the end, Ferguson has explained that Rooney’s absence was due to fitness.

“Wayne’s a bit behind other players in terms of fitness. He needs a few games,” Ferguson explained. “I wanted to play Van Persie at Old Trafford, although I knew he wasn’t 100% fit either. I’d have rather taken him off with 20 minutes to go. It was only because we lost the second goal that I was forced to leave him on. It wasn’t an easy choice to leave Wayne out because he is a very good player who can score you goals.”

The question I would have liked to see follow this one is why Rooney is behind the others in terms of fitness. As our highest paid and best player, why would he return from the summer break being more unfit than anyone else?