LONDON, Sept 10, 2010 (AFP) - Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney and his wife Coleen pleaded Friday for the media to give them privacy to repair their marriage after newspaper allegations he slept with a prostitute.
Rooney has been at the centre of a media storm since the News of the World tabloid alleged last Sunday that he had repeatedly frequented a 21-year-old prostitute while Coleen was pregnant with their son.
The couple said: "The last six days have been extremely painful for us and for our families.
"It is impossible for us, as it would be for any family, to attempt to resolve any issues in the current media glare and against the backdrop of so many inaccurate and intrusive stories.
"We would therefore ask that the media now respects our privacy and the right of our family to discuss these matters in private."
Rooney brushed off the lurid allegations by scoring in England's 3-1 win over Switzerland in a Euro 2012 qualifier on Tuesday.
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson declined to say whether the striker would play on Saturday against Everton at Goodison Park, where he would be guaranteed a hostile reception against his former club.