Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has ruled out a transfer for Wayne Rooney, claiming it is unlikely the England striker will leave Manchester United.
Rooney started Tuesday's Champions League defeat to Real Madrid on the substitutes' bench, which led to speculation that the 27-year-old could be close to leaving Old Trafford.
The rumours were refuted by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, but Mancini was still subject to questions about a possible transfer for Rooney when he met the press ahead of Manchester City's FA Cup quarter-final against Barnsley.
Mancini said: "I think that Rooney is one of the best strikers in Europe but I think it is difficult he can leave Manchester United - I don't think (so)."
The Italian coach admitted he believes the speculation surrounding Rooney will die down soon.
"I can understand maybe Rooney would be upset if he didn't play," Mancini said. " But these are things that can happen in every team. After one week, it is finished."
Rooney only entered the field of play with 17 minutes remaining in Tuesday's 2-1 loss, with Manchester United needing two goals to overturn Real Madrid's 3-2 aggregate lead in order to progress to the quarter-finals. But, goals from Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo proved to be enough for Jose Mourinho's side.
Manchester United now face Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.