Wayne Rooney
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney is a doubt for game against Liverpool REUTERS REUTERS

The Times claim Manchester United talisman Wayne Rooney is a serious doubt for the FA Cup fourth round tie against Liverpool.

The aforementioned source suggests the Manchester United talisman has not trained all week after a suffering knocks to his calf and ankle during their victory at the Emirates.

The 26-year-old, who has underwhelmed since his well documented fine for a meal on Boxing Day led to his omission from Manchester United's shock defeat to Blackburn, allegedly limped off the train after Manchester United's 2-1 win over Arsenal has been unable to train all week.

Manchester United's squad is already decimated by injuries and the potential loss of Rooney could strike a huge blow to Sir Alex Ferguson's team as they travel to Anfield to face a Liverpool side no doubt imbued by their victory over Manchester City in midweek.

The Times suggests Nani, Rio Ferdinand and Phil Jones are all out of the match, while Anderson, Ashley Young, Tom Cleverley and Michael Owen are also not fit enough to feature for Manchester United against Liverpool on Saturday lunch time.

The pre-match build-up has inevitably been dominated by both club's efforts to minimise the intensity of the Manchester United and Liverpool rivalry given the events over the last few months involving the suspended Luis Suarez and defender Patrice Evra.

On Wednesday, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard urged both sets of fans to be responsible in order not to ruin a potentially engaging game against Manchester United.

Gerrard told The Times: "We do all have a responsibility,

"Liverpool and Man United is a massive rivalry and of course there is going to be stuff in the papers and banter between fans, but it would be fantastic if after the weekend it is remembered for being a top game and, obviously, from our point of view, a Liverpool win.

"We don't want any front-page stories from this game, or any stories besides a football match between two top sides."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson also recently wrote to the club's 6,000 travelling fans asking them to respect the club by behaving suitably.