The claim was published on SportsDirectNews, a site related to the business owned by Ashley, and quoted a source that claimed discussions had already taken place at a low level.
The quote read: “Newcastle see Wayne as their ideal player. He’s a strong centre forward, would relate to the fans and would be a massive boost to the club’s brand name.
“Low-level conversations have already been held between Newcastle and Rooney’s agent, though the two clubs haven’t spoken directly yet.”
However, the website soon backtracked and issued a retraction and apology, saying: “Sports Direct News wishes to express its sincere apologies to Wayne Rooney and Triple Sports and Entertainment Group for publishing the article which was formulated and published without authority, merit and is untrue.”