Real Sociedad boss David Moyes has revealed that Chelsea were close to signing Wayne Rooney while he was manager at Manchester United.

Moyes gave Rooney his professional debut as a 16-year-old at Everton where the Scot spent 10 years, but struggled to make a mark on United in an inimical 10-month spell at Old Trafford that got him fired.

But Moyes has come out for the first time to lift the lid on how he ‘had to fight’ to douse a protracted transfer saga involving England striker Rooney and Chelsea.

Moyes told The Sunday Times: “I look at Wayne Rooney. I gave him his professional debut aged 16 and he’s now on the verge of breaking all Manchester United’s scoring records.

“It was only a short time ago that Wayne could have easily left United. But I always felt he was as good as any British player out there; wherever he plays, he’s a great footballer and, most importantly, he’ll always score goals.

“Now, I’m delighted for Wayne, because Chelsea were close to taking him. Jose (Mourinho) was interested but we wouldn’t do any business.

“I had to fight to make sure he stayed and was at the heart again, of what Manchester United were going to be moving forward.”

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