Manchester United have once again moved to quash suggestions that striker Wayne Rooney will leave Old Trafford this summer by claiming the 27 year old is not for sale.
Rooney is understood to have made clear his intentions to leave United a fortnight ago after nine years at the 13-time Premier League champions.
But a United spokesman said: "Wayne Rooney is not for sale."
The news comes merely hours after the confirmation that Sir Alex Ferguson will step down as manager at the end of the season after over 26 years at the helm.
Everton boss David Moyes is expected to be confirmed as the 71 year old's successor on Thursday and his first task upon walking through the doors at the Theatre of Dreams will be to deal with the future of Rooney with whom he has endured a tempestuous relationship.
Moyes handed Rooney his professional debut in 2002, but two years later reluctantly sold the England international to United for £25m. In 2006, Moyes sued Rooney for libel following the publication of exerts from his autobiography, eventually accepting an out of court settlement.
Rooney has since gone on to score 197 goals in 400 appearances for United and lies fourth on the club's all-time scorers list. This season he helped United towards claiming a record 20th league title with 12 goals in 27 league appearances.
However, Rooney's future has been the source of constant speculation which intensified in October 2010, after Ferguson revealed his intention to leave the club, citing their future ambition, only to make a U-turn and sign a new five-year contract less than a week later.
Since the summer signing of Robin van Persie, Rooney has been consigned to a peripheral role in the United attack and was omitted from the start for the Champions League last 16 second leg against Real Madrid.
Ferguson dismissed speculation linking Rooney with a move to Paris Saint Germain last month, but claimed there was no update in negotiations regarding the renewal of the player's contract which expires in 2015.
Having told United of his wishes to leave two weeks ago it is yet to be seen whether the impending appointment of Moyes, his former boss at Goodison Park, will reinvigorate the forward's career or send him closer to the Old Trafford exit door.