Alex Ferguson has revealed how devastated he is over the expected departure of Wayne Rooney from Manchester United and his disbelief that it has come down to this

He says he found the decision “inexplicable” admitting he was “dumbfounded”.

The player, he stated , is “adamant” he wants to leave.

I'm disappointed, very disappointed, I can’t believe it,” Ferguson said. “He had told us he was happy at the club, that he was at the best club in the world, so I must say it was terribly disappointing to get the news because I can’t quite understand it.

“We are as bemused as anyone because we can’t understand why he would want to leave. It’s a club that no one can deny is one of the most successful in British football. We have won 40 major trophies, been to countless cup finals, we have a fantastic history, a great stadium, great training arrangements. There’s a platform for anyone to take up a challenge here. There is incredible romance at this club. We just don’t understand it.”

“There’s been no falling out. We’ve not had any argument, not a bit. But you have to understand the mechanics of these situations, when people are working to leave a club. It’s an easy one to say they’ve fallen out with the manager. It’s a very easy one to say that. And I think there are traces of that, too.”

Ferguson reveled he was at the team's headquarters when the call came.

“I was at Carrington and David Gill phoned and said: ‘I’m coming over, I have some bad news for you, his agent has intimated that he won’t be signing a contract and he wants away, I can’t believe this.’

“I couldn’t believe it either. I was dumbfounded. It was a shock. I had a meeting with him and he intimated it to me in his own way. I said: ‘The only thing I want from you is to respect the club’s position and its traditions and behave like a proper professional and we will try to see it through’ . . . And, you know, I don’t know if he has done that.

“I have my doubts reading all these things about him falling out with me and all that nonsense.

“It’s disappointing because we have done everything we possibly can to help Wayne Rooney. Since the minute he’s come to the club, we’ve always been a harbour for him. Any time he has been in trouble, we have done nothing but help him. I was even prepared to give him financial advice, many times. I don’t know how many times we have helped him in terms of his private life and other matters.

“But we’ve got a situation now where we have to clarify it for our fans. What we saw on Saturday was unacceptable, the minute it got to 2-2 and the fans were chanting for Wayne Rooney. So we had to clarify the situation and put it right.

“There is no offer on the table, because they’re not prepared to listen to an offer, but we have to keep it open. We were honouring that request from Wayne to stay at the club he loved. He said to us the best thing he’d ever done was sign for Manchester United, so David was prepared to offer Wayne the best contract any player could have in the country.”

“Why he came out and said that, you can only guess yourself,” Ferguson said. “It was disappointing because he was injured. ”