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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Wayne Rooney says he is staying at Manchester United, rejects China talk

Wayne Rooney has dismissed talk of a possible move to China and said he wants to remain at Manchester United.

Rooney, 31, had been strongly linked with a transfer to the Chinese Super League, where the transfer window closes on Tuesday, with a source telling ESPN FC that his agent was in China to speak to interested clubs.

However, the United captain, in a statement released by the Premier League club, said that while he was grateful of the interest, he has no intention of leaving Old Trafford this season.

"Despite the interest which has been shown from other clubs, for which I'm grateful, I want to end recent speculation and say that I am staying at Manchester United," Rooney said.

"I hope I will play a full part in helping the team in its fight for success on four fronts. It's an exciting time at the club and I want to remain a part of it.''

Wayne Rooney is staying at Manchester United at least until the end of the season.

Rooney, whose £300,000-a-week United contract runs until June 2018, had been linked with a move to China after struggling to secure a regular first-team spot under Jose Mourinho.

He has not kicked a ball for United since making a substitute appearance in the 0-0 Premier League draw against Hull City at Old Trafford on Feb. 1.

The England captain's absence since has been attributed to a muscular strain, but the player returned to training for the first time on Tuesday morning.

Rooney missed Wednesday's 1-0 Europa League win over St Etienne but sources have told ESPN FC that Mourinho is ready to restore him to his squad for Sunday's EFL Cup final against Southampton if he is able to prove his fitness before departing for London on Saturday.

The source said Mourinho is keen to have Rooney in his 18-man squad at Wembley, both because of his attacking qualities and as a reflection of his status as club captain.

Mourinho said on Tuesday that he had no intention of forcing Rooney out of United.

ESPN FC's senior football writer Mark Ogden contributed to this report.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

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