(CNN) -- Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has dismissed reports that Wayne Rooney could be leaving the English Premier League leaders as "absolute rubbish" and insisted Friday the striker would be at Old Trafford next season.
Rooney, who has two years left on his contract at United, was surprisingly left on the bench for Tuesday's 2-1 home defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16, with Danny Welbeck preferred.
Ferguson claimed the decision was "completely tactical" with the aim of blunting the creativity of Real midfielder Xabi Alonso and was not as a result of a rift with Rooney.
"We don't always get it right but I think we did get it right.," Ferguson told the official Manchester United website.
"Danny Welbeck is the best player we have in terms of operating in a double role."
He went on: "There is absolutely no issue between Wayne Rooney and I. To suggest we don't talk to each other on the training ground is absolute nonsense."
United take on Chelsea in the quarterfinals of the English FA Cup Sunday and Ferguson confirmed the 27-year-old Rooney, signed from Everton in 2004, would play some part and was there to stay.
"Wayne will be here next year," he promised.
"You have my word on that. I have no issues at all with the player and he'll be involved on Sunday."
Rooney threatened to leave the Red Devils in October 2010, but was talked out of it by Ferguson, pledging his future to United with a lucrative new contract.
He had been linked with a move across Manchester to arch rivals Manchester City, who pipped them to the EPL title last season.
City manager Roberto Mancini appeared to rule out any attempt to sign Rooney this time around when he addressed reporters Friday.
Mancini said: "I don't know. I don't know this situation. I can understand Rooney would be upset if he didn't play but these are things that can happen in every team. After one week it is finished
"I think that Rooney is one of the best strikers in Europe but I think it is difficult he can leave Man United," added the Italian.
Meanwhile, Mario Balotelli, the striker let go by Mancini in the transfer window, continued his excellent start to his AC Milan career.
Balotelli, a second half substitute for Gianpaolo Pazzini, who had put Milan ahead at Genoa Friday night, scored the second to seal the three points.
It was his fifth Serie A goal in five games since joining Milan, who had to play the last 25 minutes without defender Kevin Constant, who was red carded.
It leaves them two points behind second placed Napoli ahead of the weekend fixtures.