Manchester United chief David Gill admits the club was rocked by Wayne Rooney's transfer demand midway through last season. Gill recounted the "bolt from the blue" of Rooney informing the club he wanted to leave, starting with a telephone call from the player's agent, Paul Stretford, on 14 August.
He recalled in Champ19ns, a book about United's record title-winning season by Steve Bartram, "We already had some discussions [about a new contract] going on, then I had a call indicating Wayne didn't want to sign a new deal, [that] he had some issues and didn't want to sign a new contract.
"That was the first we'd heard of it because [before then] there had been discussions going on to a timetable that had been agreed. I was pretty shocked, to be honest. I had a good working relationship with Paul Stretford, having done deals with him over a number of years and there was never any indication that this was the call he was going to make."
Rooney changed his mind after several weeks of lobbying behind the scenes - "I wouldn't say there were discussions every day but there was regular contact," Gill said