Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney has agreed a new five-and-a-half year deal at Old Trafford, a four-year extension to his current deal. Rooney will now become Manchester United’s highest paid player, earning a mesmerizing £300,000 per week. Speculation about Rooney’s future is now likely to come to an end; his old deal that paid up to £250,000 per week would have ended next year, however he has now committed his long-term future to the club until July 2019.
Rooney has been one of United’s key players in the years since signing with the club from Everton back in August 2004. The English international has played 430 games for United while netting an impressive 208 goals. Rooney is now only 42 goals shy of Sir Bobby Charlton’s record total of 249 for the Red Devils, and the contract extension gives him a realistic chance of reaching this milestone.
Manchester United have now confirmed that Rooney has signed a four-year extension with the club. In his interview on the club website, Rooney stated:
“I’m very happy to have signed a new long-term contract with Manchester United. This is one of the biggest clubs in the world and to know that I will be playing here for the majority of my career is something that I’m looking forward to. I’m happy that everything is now finalized and I can carry on concentrating on my football.”
It is definitely one of the positives in Man United’s season so far to tie Rooney down to a long term contract, even if it is for £300,000 a week. He is definitely one of their top players, and signing a new contract will give a much needed boost to the club. It seems increasing unlikely that United will finish in the top four this season - the Red Devils are currently 11 points off the top four - although they could still qualify for the Champions League by winning this season’s tournament, which is also rather unlikely.
Rooney had looked set to leave Old Trafford last summer after former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson claimed he had handed in a transfer request, which Rooney himself later denied. Chelsea had more than one bid for him rejected, however new boss David Moyes insisted he wanted to keep his former Everton player at Old Trafford, even though they had a few altercations back when they were both at Goodison Park.
It seems likely that next season will be Rooney’s first not playing in the Champions League since his move from Everton 10 years ago. Therefore, United have done an important job in tying him to the club for another five-and-a-half years. The fact that United are unlikely to be in the Champions League next season is probably the reason for Rooney’s pay raise to £300,000 a week. Manchester United have clearly had to compromise and offer Rooney and extra £50,000 to make up for the lack of Champions League football.
Some may point to Rooney’s new deal as a show of desperation from Manchester United. Others have also noted that Rooney himself has once again taken advantage of Man United when they are at their weakest, as they need his goals and reputation. Strangely enough, while Rooney’s form at the beginning of the campaign should be signs of him getting back to his best, recent weeks have been a lot less impressive. The persistent groin injury Rooney was suffering throughout January has clearly blunted his effectiveness for Man United. In 2014, Rooney has yet to score a goal in five games as United have continued to struggle under Moyes.
The short-term priority for United was obviously to tie down one of their star men and also to strike a blow to underpin United’s status as one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the world; keeping Rooney has allowed them to do so. Some will argue that in the long-term this is a ludicrous deal as United will be paying Rooney £300,000 a week until he is 34 years old, however only time will tell if United have made the right decision.
Written by Dan Bannell