Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was prepared to sell Wayne Rooney to Manchester City, it has been revealed.

Ferguson claimed Rooney had submitted a transfer request earlier this month as their relationship hit rock bottom.

The Mirror says Ferguson had even explored using Rooney as bait in an incredible player-plus-cash swap deal to bring Manchester City keeper Joe Hart to Old Trafford.

Ferguson is a big admirer of Hart and felt his unhappiness under Roberto Mancini gave him a chance of snatching him.

Hart is now happier at Eastlands and will stay on under boss-in-waiting Manuel Pellegrini following last week's decision to sack Mancini.