Manchester United have branded suggestions that Wayne Rooney could be sold in the January transfer window as 'nonsense'.
The striker's every move has come under scrutiny this season following allegations about his private life and a slump in form which has followed on from a dismal World Cup with England.
Rooney also appeared to contradict manager Sir Alex Ferguson's assertion that he was suffering from an ankle injury by stating in midweek that he was fully fit and had been training as normal all season.
Ferguson had left the former Everton man out of his squads against Valencia and Sunderland after he was taken off during the draw with Bolton.
Rooney, who has scored just two goals for club and country in 11 games this season, returned to play the full 90 minutes of England's disappointing 0-0 draw with Montenegro at Wembley on Tuesday.
But he was left out of the starting XI by Ferguson for Saturday's 2-2 draw with West Brom at Old Trafford, only joining the fray 19 minutes from time when he was again unable to trouble the scorers.
Some observers took the Scot's decision to leave last season's star man among the substitutes as an indication that the duo's relationship had broken down and reports emerged in the Sunday newspapers that Rooney's days at Old Trafford were numbered.
Although they rarely comment on individual stories, United have opted to make a brief response to suggestions Rooney's alleged rift with Ferguson is now so great that he will be ushered towards the exit door.
"To suggest Wayne Rooney will be sold in January is nonsense," said a club spokesman.
United are aware even that statement could be seized upon and interpreted as opening up the possibility for Rooney to be sold at the end of the season, when his contract will only have 12 months to run.
It is not their policy to talk about contract negotiations in public either and that stance has not changed.
However, privately they remain steadfast in their belief that Rooney will eventually sign an extension that will make him one of the club's highest earners.
Where will Wayne Rooney be playing after the January transfer window?