Manchester United and Wayne Rooney have issued a joint statement strongly denying reports the striker will be sold in the January transfer window.

32415 - United reject Rooney exit talk

The unusual step came in response to widespread speculation that The Independent newspaper are to run a frontpage story on Saturday, claiming United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is "ready to let Rooney go".

A joint statement from the club and Rooney followed late on Friday night, and was posted on United's official website:

"Manchester United and Wayne Rooney have been made aware of the theme of an article in tomorrow's Independent newspaper," it read. "We have not seen the detail but can assure all United fans that the Manager and the Club are committed to Wayne Rooney and Wayne is committed to the Manager and the Club.

"The player and the Manager have always had and retain, the utmost respect for each other and look forward to working together in the coming seasons. Any suggestion that Manchester United and Wayne Rooney are to part company is complete nonsense."

Rooney also issued a response through his personal Twitter account, writing: "The Independent are talking absolute rubbish my future is with Manchester United and the club and I are totally commited to each other.

"The manager and I have no issues and anyone who says different don't know what they are talking about."

Rooney was fined and suspended for United's Premier League game against Blackburn on New Year's Eve, after it emerged he reported unfit for training following a night out on Boxing Day.