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‘I own the van and my mum washes the kit,’ Rooney reminds team-mates

Wayne Rooney has provided a timely reminder to fellow Manchester United players of his value to the team, following his appearance on the subs bench last weekend and ongoing speculation that he is out of favour with new manager Jose Mourinho.

‘Out of interest, how are you guys getting to Stoke next weekend?’ Rooney asked a crowded dressing room after Saturday comfortable win over Leicester City. ‘Obviously, I usually take us in my Ford Transit. Nice and warm in there with the underseat heating, we can crank up the tunes on the stereo, but it does kinda depend on whether I’m actually playing.’

‘I guess little Marcus Rashford could take you all,’ continued Rooney. ‘Oh, except he hasn’t taken his driving test yet, has he? Zlatan could drive you in his Volvo, but it’ll mean a few trips. A real selection dilemma for the boss, isn’t it? Oh and Chris, give my love to your granny won’t you? … Never mind why, just do it.’

‘Might as well take your dirty kit home with you too today,’ added Rooney, pursing his lips. ‘My mum won’t be able to wash it anymore, if I’m not involved. I love those Summer Fresh conditioner tablets she’s been using recently, don’t you? Won’t matter so much for you Pogba, as you don’t make any tackles, but for everyone else - well, I’m sure you’ll sort something out.’

Rooney also announced that a number of other team activities could be under threat if he wasn't playing. These include his popular annual trip to Chessington Wold of Adventure, regular sleepovers and playdates at his house and his legendary funded trips to the sweet shop near their Carrington training ground, nicknamed ‘Wagon Wheels with Wayne’ by fellow players.

Jose Mourinho responded by suggesting that Rooney needs to adapt to the inexorable passage of years and expand his portfolio of activities. ‘If he wants to continue to pull in a big salary he needs to take on more media work, perhaps?’ suggested the Special One. ‘A legend from Merseyside, interested in dough and making a decent crust, still good in short bursts for an hour a week during the Autumn season? I hear the Great British Bake Off may have some opportunities.’

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