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Dirty Tackle

Man United hire only manager who once sued Wayne Rooney for libel

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

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An 18-year-old Wayne Rooney with Moyes in 2003. (Getty)

Manchester United have officially announced (after one false start) that Everton manager David Moyes will replace Sir Alex Ferguson next season on a six-year contract. Which sounds hefty until you realize he can be sacked at any point before then.

The announcement comes hours after it was revealed that Wayne Rooney once again asked Ferguson for a transfer two weeks ago and was informed that he's not for sale. It would seem that the retirement of Ferguson and strong possibility of Moyes replacing him wasn't the reason behind Rooney's decision, but, as mentioned in our DT Exclusive earlier, he does have an uncomfortable history with the next Man United manager that could fortify his position.

When Rooney came through the Everton youth system and made his first-team debut in 2002, Moyes was the club's newly appointed manager. The two worked together until Rooney was sold to Man United in 2004 for £25 million, despite Everton's efforts to retain him and large offers from other clubs. Four years later, Rooney came out with an autobiography entitled "My Story So Far" in which he claimed that Moyes leaked details from a private conversation between the two about his move to Man United to the Liverpool Echo newspaper the following day. The claims were also run by the Daily Mail, which serialized the book, using a headline saying that Moyes forced Rooney out of Everton and featuring the laughable quote from Rooney: "David Moyes was jealous of me."

From the Telegraph's report on June 3, 2008:

Lawyers for the Manchester United striker said he "sincerely apologised" for any distress and embarrassment caused and paid "substantial" damages and legal costs thought to be worth more than £500,000.

It is believed to be the first time a Premiership manager has sued one of his former players for libel and a settlement was reached before the case was due to come to trial last month.

Rooney conceded that his former manager had not leaked details of a private conversation to the press about his reasons for transferring from Everton to Manchester United in 2004.

Moyes donated his winnings to the Everton Former Players Foundation.

Rooney and Moyes have reportedly been on fine terms since the case was wrapped up, but they obviously haven't had to work together since then. And if Rooney gets his way, they won't have to change that.

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