Rooney: I don't want to play in midfield yet

Wayne Rooney has reiterated his desire to play as a striker rather than drop back into midfield - a statement which may interest new Manchester United manager David Moyes.

Rooney was reported to have grown disillusioned with life at Old Trafford last season, after the arrival of Robin van Persie limited the England international's chances of playing a starring role in United's attack. Departing manager Sir Alex Ferguson later confirmed that the club had rejected a transfer request from the 27-year-old. 

However, at international level, Rooney remains England's main man, netting five goals in Roy Hodgson's side's last four World Cup qualifying matches.

Some pundits have suggested Rooney may be deployed in a deeper role for both club and country, but the former Everton man insists that isn't for him just yet.

"In years to come that might be somewhere I could play, but right now I'm definitely a centre-forward," he said, speaking exclusively in the July 2013 issue of FourFourTwo about his role with the national team.

"I'm after more goals. I've played upfront on my own a few times for Manchester United and it's a role I'm very comfortable with and have no problems playing.

"I think I'm capable of playing in a number of positions and I'm sure the manager will decide which he feels is best."

With England, Rooney is supplied by two advanced wingers in a 4-3-3 system, which ultimately leaves him as Hodgson's great hope through the middle. Unsurprisingly, it is a role he relishes.

"When you have pace like [Danny] Welbeck and [Theo] Walcott out wide, there's a real threat to the opposition full-backs, who need to push up to stop them running," he said.

"That helps create gaps in the middle for me. It's something we'll continue to work on with the manager, but the few games we've played together in that 4-3-3 formation have gone really well."

Read the full interview with Wayne Rooney in the July 2013 issue of FourFourTwo digitally and in print, also featuring an exclusive interview with Neymar, a look at 12 months that will define the duo's careers, a peek behind the scenes at St George's Park and interviews with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Dejan Stankovic.


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