Manchester United are running the risk of Wayne Rooney leaving Old Trafford for a cut-price fee next summer after it was revealed they have yet to make any contact with his representatives.

Rooney is in his best form for years and with only 20 months left on his £220000-a-week contract United are moving into a critical period if they want to retain Rooney.

They resisted a £30million bid for him from Chelsea in the summer and similar bids from Arsenal but will need to start negotiations within weeks or sell him cheaply next summer to prevent him running down the final year of his contract.

But any negotiations could be scuppered this week by the launch of Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography which may well reopen the well-chronicled rift between them.

Sir Alex’s autobiography is expected to repeat the former manager’s claims that Rooney asked for a move last season something that the player feels was a misrepresentation of a conversation the pair had when he was expressing his frustrations about playing in midfield.