Sir Bobby Charlton believes Wayne Rooney will stay at Manchester United

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Sir Bobby Charlton has tipped Wayne Rooney to stay at Manchester United and break his club goalscoring record.

Chelsea have recently had a £20 million offer for Rooney rejected, while the striker has also been linked with a move to Arsenal.

Rooney has been unsettled since the end of last season, when Sir Alex Ferguson said he put in a request to leave the Premier League champions.

But new manager David Moyes has insisted Rooney is not for sale and United director Charlton hopes to keep the forward.

“I still think Wayne Rooney will stay at Manchester United long enough to beat my goalscoring record.,” Charlton said.

“Wayne Rooney is a Manchester United player and I think that he will continue to be a Manchester United player.”

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Rooney, who joined from Everton in 2004, has scored 197 goals for United while Charlton managed 249 between 1956 and 1973.

Charlton believes Moyes will exceed expectations in his time at Old Trafford, saying: “David Moyes is a first class coach and manager. After watching David for a while I really do believe he is going to have a happier time than some people give him credit for.

“There is continuity already because Sir Alex is a director of the club. I am certain there will be mutual support between Sir Alex and David.”

Charlton has also been impressed by new signing Wilfried Zaha during United’s pre-season fixtures in Asia and Australia.

“Wilfried Zaha has maybe been the star of the tour,” Charlton said. “Give him the ball and all he wants to do is beat defenders and smash the ball into the back of the net.

“I think our crowds are going to love him.”


Manchester United tour rolls on to conclusion with 5-2 win over Kitchee

Manchester United eventually breezed to a 5-2 victory over Kitchee in Hong Kong on Monday, as a number of junior members of David Moyes’ squad made their case for greater first team involvement.

Early strikes from Danny Welbeck, Chris Smalling and Fabio da Silva gave United the advantage, but it was second half finishes from Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard that ensured the scoreline ended up looking suitably comfortable.

The final strike meant Lingard finished top scorer on tour with four goals but, more significantly, ten minutes from time the 40,000 fans got what they with the introduction of Robin van Persie, who also had the honour of wearing the captain’s armband.

Given the state of the playing surface, it was hardly a surprise Moyes left a number of key men on the bench. Van Persie was omitted, as were Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs.

In their place Michael Keane was given a chance, plus Wilfried Zaha, who has been one of the success stories of a five-match tour that had yielded just a single victory prior to kick-off.

United were not enjoying their day on the beach that much either in the early stages as Anderson’s effort sailed wide.

But Hong Kong football is hardly the most competitive, despite Nicky Butt having a few months here in 2011, and it was not long before Kitchee began to crack.

Moyes has demanded Welbeck improves on last season’s dreadful goals tally and with his third on tour he was eclipsing last term’s total, the striker ramming home the rebound after Ashley Young had struck a post.

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Even with one-time Fulham defender Zesh Rehman in their line-up, Kitchee were no match for United in the air and Smalling duly rose at the far post to float a header across goal and into the corner.

Juan Carlos Rodriguez Belencoso spurned a glorious chance to pull one back for the hosts when he turned an eight-yard effort over the bar.

It was a costly mistake, as United immediately went down to the other end and scored again.

This time Fabio was the man on target, much to the embarrassment of Rehman as the Brazilian full-back prodded a shot through his legs and into the corner.

Two of the other tour success stories, Lingard and Januzaj, were introduced at half-time, as was Alex Buttner. Within four minutes of the restart, Buttner had created a goal for Januzaj who finished with a precise header.

A capacity crowd may have been overwhelmingly wearing United shirts but they were on their feet to acclaim Lam Ka Wai when he gave United goalkeeper Ben Amos no chance with a thunderous shot into the top corner.

After United had failed to take a succession of opportunities, Alex Alkande pulled another one back midway through the half.

Immediately before that, Moyes had responded to an audible chant of ‘RVP’ by sending the £24million Dutchman to warm up with Ferdinand.

To huge cheers, Van Persie was eventually introduced, immediately after Lingard’s superb curling finish.

Gareth Barry is preparing to leave Manchester City after Fernandinho addition

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Gareth Barry is prepared to leave Manchester City on a free transfer next summer when his contract expires.

Barry, 32, told the Sunday Mirror that the club are yet to make contact with him about a new deal.

Although manager Manuel Pellegrini has told Barry that he remains in his plans for the coming season he believes that increasing competition for places could see him forced to consider his future.

“It’s just a case of wait and see, as far as a new contract is concerned,” Barry said. “I haven’t heard anything about a new deal from the club, so it looks as though my contract will run out next summer and I’ll have to take it from there.

“The manager has spoken to me. He told me that he sees a place for me in his squad as he wants two quality players in every position.

“I’ve got to admit that, with Yaya Toure, Javi Garcia and now Fernandinho in the squad, it’s going to be tough for anyone to nail down a position in central midfield. I’m a bit disappointed that there’s been no offer, but I haven’t got myself too down about it.”

Ex-Birmingham & Club America striker Christian ‘Chucho’ Benitez dead at 27

Former Birmingham City and Club America striker Christian Benitez has died at the age of 27 after suffering a cardiorespiratory arrest.

Benitez was admitted to hospital with severe stomach pain hours after making his debut against Qatar Sports Club in the Sheikh Jassem Cup but died shortly afterwards.

An Ecuador Football Federation (FEF) statement read: “The FEF regrets to inform you of the death of Christian Benitez, the striker of Qatar club Al Jaish and the Ecuador national team.

“Benitez, who was with his new club in Qatar, had a severe stomach pain, which was why he was rushed to a hospital, where after a few hours suffered he suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest, which ended his life.

“The Ecuadorian Football Federation extends its heartfelt sympathy to the family – parents, wife, children – and friends of our striker Christian Benitez.

“May he rest in peace.”

Benitez, who scored 24 goals in 58 appearances for the Ecuadorian national team, had joined El Jaish in Qatar earlier this month.

A statement released by his club read: “The club would like to offer its sincere condolences to the family of the player.

“Benitez had recently joined the club from Club America for three seasons. The player participated for the first time with the team during yesterday’s match against Qatar Sports Club in the Sheikh Jassem Cup without complaining of any health problems.

“His sudden departure is a big shock for each member of the technical and administrative staff. He was a player that over the short period he was here was regarded for his high moral character.”

Benitez began his career with El Nacional in his homeland before moving to Santos Laguna in 2007. He spent time the 2009-10 season on loan with Birmingham, and secured a permanent switch to Club America in 2011. He won the Golden Boot award four times during his career in Mexico.

Manchester United winger and fellow Ecuador international Antonio Valencia tweeted his condolences, writing: “Brother God is with your family we love you.

“For always he is my brother the pain is very strong my brother but we love you.”

Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner, who played alongside Benitez at Birmingham, also offered his sympathy, saying: “Can’t believe Christian Benitez aka chucho has died had the pleasure to play with him he was a top bloke. My thoughts go out to his family.”

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