WAYNE ROONEY will miss Manchester United’s Champions League clash with Valencia tomorrow night.
Alex Ferguson has told club officials the 24-year-old will not be fit enough to make the trip after being withdrawn with an ankle injury against Bolton on Sunday.
There has been no indication whether Rooney’s absence will be any longer, which would threaten his participation in Saturday’s Barclays Premier League encounter with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, plus England’s Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro on October 12.
While Ferguson’s assistant Mike Phelan revealed Rooney is still struggling with a niggling ankle injury, some may feel it is a good time for Rooney to have a break.
Kevin Keegan voiced his concern for the striker, who has scored only one goal for United this season, and that came from the penalty spot.
Although the furore over his private life has hardly helped, Rooney was so ineffective against Bolton that purely on form grounds Ferguson might have looked at a combination of Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen against Valencia anyway.
Now Rooney can have a couple of days away from the glare of publicity and try to get himself into the right frame of mind for when he next plays.
Meanwhile, skipper Nemanja Vidic has told his team-mates to cut out the defensive lapses that are wrecking their Premier League title campaign.
Defeats for Chelsea and Arsenal on Saturday should have been the start of a perfect weekend for United, who would have moved to within a point of Carlo Ancelotti’s men if they had beaten Bolton. Instead, the defensive problems which are proving so difficult to eradicate reared their heads again.
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