Andy Cole believes it is in Wayne Rooney's best interests to remain at Manchester United, despite the England international's current future being shrouded in doubt.
Rooney appears set for an exit from Old Trafford in the coming months, with Sir Alex Ferguson claiming that the striker handed in a second transfer request in three years in the hope of securing an move from United.
The reports have since been denied, but with the England international now seemingly out of favour at the club, sources are now claiming he is in fact close to a move to big-spending Ligue 1 side Pairs Saint Germain.
But Cole believes that Rooney will be in a United shirt next season, insisting that his best years are still to come.
"His days here are not over - far, far from it," Cole told M.E.N. Sport. "He is a young man and the best years are still in front of him. No way has he peaked.
"The only two people you could get an answer from about why his season was what it was is Sir Alex and Wayne Rooney.
"But whatever has happened I still think going forward it is important to keep Wayne Rooney at United because he is a top player. It is important for Manchester United to keep every top player at the club.
"Hopefully he will stay. I love watching him play. He plays with great endeavour and great energy."
The changeover in managers at United has brought mixed predictions over what could now happen to Rooney.
The 26 year old's relationship with David Moyes has often wavered, with the Scot having sued Rooney for libel after the publication of his autobiography, winning damages in 2008, having given the Merseyside-born forward his professional debut in 2002.
The pair have since reconciled and Cole believes previous incidents are very much in the past.
"I think that will now be brushed under the carpet and they can move on," he said. "I don't think there will be any holding of grudges. Moyes can come in and have a chat with Wayne and hopefully he will stay."
Cole insisted that Rooney would always be better off in England, with his type of play reflecting the country's style perfectly.
The former United man explained: "He is a very, very English player. When you talk about bulldog spirit, he epitomises that. But he wouldn't be a fish out of water abroad on the pitch because he's played international football and has played regularly in the Champions League and is good at it so he is quality and could adapt.
"All top players adapt and he is a top player. But I don't want it to come to that. I want Wayne to remain at United. I think it would be best for him and the club."