Wayne Rooney has been left out of Manchester United's squad for Saturday's Premier League game at Everton to spare him abuse from the fans of his former club, United manager Alex Ferguson said.
Rooney, at the centre of newspaper allegations about his private life, appeared for England in their midweek 3-1 Euro 2012 qualifying win in Switzerland and had been expected to play on Saturday.
However, Ferguson told Sky Sports: "We made a decision simply because he gets terrible abuse here. We don't want to subject him to that."
Rooney is a regular target for fans at Goodison Park where many have still not forgiven him for leaving to join United six years ago.
Rooney and his wife Coleen issued a statement on Friday asking to be left alone and saying: "It is impossible for us...to attempt to resolve any issues in the current media glare".