Robin van Persie has urged Wayne Rooney to stay at Manchester United, revealing that the striker was one of the reasons he joined the club.
The England international's future continues to be one of the major talking points of the transfer window, with Chelsea having so far seen their approaches for the striker rebuffed.
He will be absent from Sunday's Community Shield curtain raiser against Wigan as he continues to sit out pre-season with an injury, but Van Persie is desperate to see him back in a United shirt soon - and is keen for Rooney to commit his future to the club.
"Everyone wants Wayne to stay and deep down I think he feels the same," the Dutchman told The Sun.
"One of the reasons I joined Manchester United was to play with Wayne.
"I hope he stays. Not only is he a great goalscorer, he does so much work across the pitch.
"He hates to lose and that's why you see him one minute pressing for goal, the next minute defending ferociously. He is an asset to any team.
"He will come good again. He is a strong lad."
The 27-year-old's reportedly strained relationship with new manager David Moyes has merely served to fuel speculation that he will leave Old Trafford, with Rooney said to be angered at suggestions that he would be used as a back-up to Van Persie this term.
Talk of a rift was intensified this week following the striker's call-up to the England squad for the friendly with Scotland, which prompted a Facebook message from the former Everton man thanking national coach Roy Hodgson for his support.
However, Moyes has been quick to play down suggestions of any problems between him and Rooney, and he rubbished reports that the striker is being forced to train alone.
"Wayne has had a shoulder injury. He has been sore with it, which has meant he has not been able to have any contact, so he hasn't trained with us (the first team)," Moyes told MUTV.
"He has trained a little bit with the reserves as a non-contact player, a floating player, so at least he got a little bit of football work.
"You've got to remember he has had no football practice.
"I explained all this and I would only expect Roy to play him (for England) for a short time."
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