Rooney staying with United
Striker ends uncertainty by agreeing new five-year deal
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: 22/10/10 7:49pm
Wayne Rooney has agreed a new five-year deal at Manchester United to end days of feverish speculation over his future at Old Trafford.
"I think Wayne now understands what a great club Manchester United is."
Sir Alex Ferguson. Quotes of the week
It was revealed by Sir Alex Ferguson on Tuesday that Rooney had refused to pen fresh terms and had stated his desire to leave the club.
The England international, who would have been out of contract at the end of next season, confirmed that stance on Wednesday, releasing a statement questioning United's ambition.
From there it appeared to be a foregone conclusion that he would on his way in the January transfer window, despite claims from Ferguson that the offer of a new deal still stood.
Reports suggested that Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and even arch-rivals Manchester City were keen to raid United for their prized asset, with big-money bids believed to be in the pipeline.
However, talks between the United board, Ferguson and Rooney's representatives have continued for the last couple of days and an agreement has been thrashed out.
Instead of bracing himself for an imminent departure, Rooney has now signed a new deal which will keep him at Old Trafford until the summer of 2015.
An understandably delighted Ferguson, who never wanted to lose the 24-year-old frontman, told United's official website: "It's been a difficult week, but the intensity of the coverage is what we expect at Manchester United.
"I said to the boy that the door is always open and I'm delighted Wayne has agreed to stay.
"Sometimes, when you're in a club, it can be hard to realise just how big it is and it takes something like the events of the last few days to make you understand. I think Wayne now understands what a great club Manchester United is.
"I'm pleased he has accepted the challenge to guide the younger players and establish himself as one of United's great players. It shows character and belief in what we stand for.
"I'm sure everyone involved with the Club will now get behind Wayne and show him the support he needs to produce the performances we know he is capable of."
Rooney has also spoken out, backtracking on his earlier statement by insisting that he is fully committed to the United cause and confident that he can enjoy many more years of success at Old Trafford.
The forward, who celebrates his 25th birthday on Sunday, said: "I'm delighted to sign another deal at United.
"In the last couple of days, I've talked to the manager and the owners and they've convinced me this is where I belong. I said on Wednesday the manager's a genius and it's his belief and support that have convinced me to stay.
"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.
"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."
One Red Knight, a member of the group of investors who want to buy Manchester United, told Sky Sports News' chief news reporter Bryan Swanson Rooney's new contract was "good news for the club."
The Red Knight went onto say the decision "should make the Glazers think more seriously about their whole engagement with the club, its supporters, and whether they are useful owners."