Haidara was stretchered off with a knee injury during Sunday's Premier League game at the DW Stadium after being caught by a high challenge from McManaman, who escaped punishment from referee Mark Halsey.
But Whelan, whose own playing career was ended by a serious injury, insists there was no malice in the tackle by McManaman.
Whelan told BBC Radio 5 live: "The ball was there. Young McManaman went in for the ball and got the ball as clean as a whistle, but in the follow through they collided.
"The referee saw it all, he had clear view on that. He hasn't gone over the ball. That's an accident.
"There is not one ounce of malice in Callum McManaman. He has an enthusiastic young boy. He has got great prospects. He was very upset by it all."
@3 in the bus, Why bring United into this? What special treatment is happening in this case?- poppaphil