Wayne Rooney confirmed he wants to leave Manchester United, saying he had decided to quit Old Trafford because the club could no longer attract top players.
One day after Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson revealed Rooney had vowed not to sign a new contract, the 24-year-old superstar on Wednesday broke his silence by claiming his move was not motivated by money.
In a statement released before Manchester United's Champions League tie with Bursaspor, Rooney said that he was leaving after failing to win assurances from the club that they would continue to be able to invest in elite talent.
"It is absolutely true that my agent and I have had a number of meetings with the club about a new contract," Rooney said.
"During those meetings in August I asked for assurances about the continued ability of the club to attract the top players in the world."
"I met with (Manchester United chief executive) David Gill last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad."
Rooney also hit out at suggestions made by Ferguson in comments on Tuesday that he had failed to show the club "respect" by his conduct since making his decision to quit.
"I was interested to hear what Sir Alex had to say yesterday and surprised by some of it," Rooney said.
"I have never had anything but complete respect for MUFC. How could I not have done given its fantastic history and especially the last six years in which I have been lucky to play a part?"
"For me its all about winning trophies - as the club has always done under Sir Alex. Because of that I think the questions I was asking were justified.
"Despite recent difficulties, I know I will always owe Sir Alex Ferguson a huge debt. He is a great manager and mentor who has helped and supported me from the day he signed me from Everton when I was only 18."
"For Manchester United's sake I wish he could go on forever because he's a one off and a genius."