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'If you go to City you're dead'

The Wayne Rooney saga at Manchester United has started to turn ugly: while the club has re-entered negotiations with the England striker’s agent Paul Stretford, a small hardcore of United fans decided more aggressive action was necessary to stop him from moving to Manchester City.

A group of around 40 United supporters, a large number of who wore balaclavas and hooded tops, travelled to Rooney’s house in Prestbury in Cheshire to try their own special brand of persuasion in an effort to stop local rivals City signing their star player, which included threats on Rooney’s life. One banner read ‘If you join City you’re dead’.

United supporters have form for this sort of behaviour: in 2006 a group of similarly clad fans turned up a Rio Ferdinand’s house because of a 16-month contract dispute he had with the club, during which photos of him meeting with then-Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon were released. That time Ferdinand admitted that he feared for his own safety, and while there were no acts of aggression against Rooney or his property, he must know that after Ferdinand’s experience he may have to tread carefully.

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