England striker says he will not be signing a new contract with Manchester because of concerns over club’s future.
|Rooney has ended doubts about his future with the club by extending his contract until 2015 [AFP]|
Wayne Rooney, the Manchester United striker, has made a surprise U-turn and agreed to extend his contract with the club by five years.
A statement on United’s website on Friday said Rooney had agreed to stay until at least June 2015, just days after he had indicated he wanted to leave the Premier League club.
Rooney, 24, had previously said that concerns over the club’s squad strength and ambition were behind his decision not to sign a new deal.
Alex Ferguson, the United manager, said on Friday he was delighted with Rooney’s decision: “I said that the door is always open and I’m delighted Wayne’s agreed to stay.”
Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported that Rooney’s new deal was worth $284,000 per week.
Rooney insisted he agreed the new terms because Ferguson had convinced him the club remained committed to succeeding on the pitch.
“I am delighted to sign another deal at United,” Rooney said. “In the last couple of days, I have talked to the manager and the owners and they have convinced me this is where I belong.
“I’m signing a new deal in the absolute belief that the management, coaching staff, board and owners are totally committed to making sure United maintains its proud winning history”
“I’m signing a new deal in the absolute belief that the management, coaching staff, board and owners are totally committed to making sure United maintains its proud winning history – which is the reason I joined the club in the first place.”
Rooney said he would fight to regain the trust of United’s supporters.
He said: “I’m sure the fans over the last week have felt let down by what they’ve read and seen. But my position was from concern over the future.
“The fans have been brilliant with me since I arrived and it’s
up to me through my performances to win them over again.”
Ferguson had already revealed earlier in the week that contract talks with Rooney had broken down in August and it seemed certain the former Everton star would be sold.
Ferguson’s comments about Rooney’s failure to show respect for United seemed to signal a breakdown in their relationship, especially as it came after a war of words between the two over the United manager’s decision to rest his star for three matches due to an ankle injury.
However, Ferguson, who is confident Rooney can go on to become one of United’s all-time greats, said the player had now apologised to him and his team-mates.
“Wayne has apologised to me and the players,” Ferguson said. “He will also do so with the supporters.”
Al Jazeera’s sports correspondent, Sanaa Hamouche, said Ferguson was “pretty much desperate to keep Rooney”, however, “it is not yet clear how much Ferguson had to pay to win the battle”.
“But at the end of the day he’s happy and the fans are happy to have a world class player still on the team,” she said.
|Rooney helped Manchester United win Premier League titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009 [AFP]|
Rooney had been increasingly linked with a move to arch local rivals Manchester City, prompting an angry reaction from fans.
The player’s decision to stay is sure to be greeted with relief by most United fans, but several of the club’s players, including Patrice Evra, had already expressed frustration at the situation.
However, our correspondent says despite the fact that Rooney will have to work hard to rebuild relationships with his team-mates, their overall reaction will be one of relief.
“I am sure Rooney’s team-mates are happy as well – because they would rather have him on their side than play against him,” she said.
Rooney helped United win Premier League titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and the Champions League in 2008.
He was in brilliant form for most of last season but after injuring his ankle in a Champions League game at the end of March he did not score another goal and was way below his best form on his return and for England in the World Cup.