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Ferguson shocked as his prized striker seeks exit

England striker Wayne Rooney has told Alex Ferguson he wants to walk away from Manchester United, leaving the manager "shocked and bemused" by the decision.

sports Updated: Oct 19, 2010 22:58 IST

Ferguson shocked as his prized striker seeks exit

England striker Wayne Rooney has told Alex Ferguson he wants to walk away from Manchester United, leaving the manager "shocked and bemused" by the decision.

Days of intense media speculation came to a head spectacularly on Tuesday as Ferguson addressed the media on the eve of the Champions League match against Bursaspor because.

"We are as bemused as anyone can be," Ferguson said. "We can't quite understand why he would want to leave."

Ferguson said he was told about it by United's chief executive David Gill.

"It was a shock," Ferguson said. "I couldn't believe it because in other discussions as early as March he intimated that he wanted to stay, he wanted to sign a life contract, he was happy at the club, he was at the best club in the world.

"I had a meeting with him. He intimated to me in his own way that he wanted away.

"I told him, 'The only thing I want from you, Wayne is to honour the club's position and traditions and behave like a proper professional and we'll try to see it through.'

"There was an offer there, it never got into financial discussion, but I know David was prepared to offer him a contract that would be difficult to better elsewhere."

Ferguson bought the then 18-year-old Rooney for 25.6 million pounds ($40.40 million) from Everton six years ago.

His current contract expires in June 2012, when he could walk away on a free transfer. That means unless he changes his mind and signs a new deal, United may be forced to listen to cut-price offers before then to recoup something.

"We've done nothing but help him since he's come to this club in terms of his private life and other matters.

"I can't answer any questions about why he's doing it -- the player is adamant he wants to leave."

Rooney helped United win Premier League titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and the Champions League in 2008.

Action against Juve just, says Del Piero

Rome: Alessandro Del Piero, the highest profile player to be called so far as a witness in Italy's match-fixing trial, said on Tuesday his Juventus side had deserved the two Serie A titles which were stripped because of the scandal.

The long-running trial, which features former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi as one the defendants, is the criminal equivalent of the sporting tribunal which took away the Turin side's 2005 and 2006 scudettos for procuring compliant referees.

Asked by a lawyer how many trophies he had won with Juve, Del Piero told the court: "It depends. I also count the two scudettos taken away. While I have been playing, I believe that every side that have won a championship have deserved it."

The soft-spoken 35-year-old is backing Juve's campaign for Inter Milan to have the 2006 league title which was awarded to them also stripped after new evidence suggested their rivals could have also been implicated in the scandal.

European champions Inter, bidding for their sixth straight Serie A title this season, deny wrongdoing but the Italian soccer federation has taken fresh phone tap evidence from the criminal trial in Naples which it is examining.

Cagliari fined for racist chants

Milan: Cagliari have been fined 25,000 euros after racist chants from their fans resulted in a three-minute suspension of play during Sunday's home match with Inter Milan, Serie A said in a statement on Tuesday.

The referee, using new powers from the Italian federation, halted the match because of the chants aimed at Inter's Samuel Eto'o. The game got underway without any further trouble.