Wayne Rooney will not travel with Manchester United to Stockholm for their next friendly against AIK as he has a shoulder injury, the club have confirmed.
United say that Rooney picked up the injury in the behind-closed-doors friendly played by United against Real Betis, which the Reds won 3-0. Speculation will be fervent that his absence will be related to persistent rumours linking him to a move away from the club, with a second rejected bid from Chelsea made earlier in the week confirmed by United this morning.
Rooney had also missed all of the club's other pre-season friendlies except the Betis one, thus avoiding exposure to any United fans. Stories have been circulating in the press about the player's fear about being booed by the players, and his latest conveniently-timed absence will only serve to fuel rumours that the England striker is indeed headed for the exit door at Old Trafford.