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Leicester 17:30 Man Utd

Gill hails Rooney 'achievement'

United chief executive delighted with agreement

By James Riach.   Last Updated: 22/10/10 5:49pm

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Manchester United chief executive David Gill has labelled Wayne Rooney's contract extension a 'great achievement' by the club.

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In an extraordinary week of drama at Old Trafford the England forward appeared set on leaving after claiming United did not match his future ambitions.

However, following an emotional press conference from Sir Alex Ferguson on Tuesday and further speculation, Rooney has now committed to the Red Devils by signing a five-year contract.

The star forward, who turns 25 on Sunday, met with Gill in August and claims the chief executive did not convince him that the club's ambitions ran in tandem with his own.

But the United chief is now delighted with Rooney's decision to put pen to paper and hailed the 'great news'.

"For everyone involved it's been a great achievement and we're looking forward to the future now," he told Sky Sports News.

"The events of the last week moved very quickly but clearly Manchester United never wants to sell its best players.

"We want to attract and retain the best players in the world. Things move quickly but we're delighted.

"We've retained one of the best players in English and world football and it's great news for the club and the fans.

"The events in the early part of the week were quite difficult but I think on reflection, some measured conversations took place between all parties, and as Wayne and Alex have said, everyone realised that actually his future was best served here and we've managed to secure that."

Rooney is set to apologise to his team-mates for his role in the saga and is determined to win back the support of the fans when he returns to action.

The former Everton man is currently sidelined with an ankle injury and will be out for approximately three weeks.


On what caused the surprising U-turn, Gill added: "I didn't convince him, that's what he said.

"We've had various discussions, he's discussed it with Alex and the owners and I think we are here to make sure we've got a great team.

"We understand that we need a great team in order to do what we want to do off the field and we continue to do that - investing in the team, to investing in the facilities here, investing in Carrington and that's what we aim to do.

"We fully understand that in order to have great results off the pitch we need a great team on the pitch.

"Manchester United has been at the top of the English game for many, many years and aims to be there for many more years to come."

And despite his poor form of late, which saw him put in a woeful display during the World Cup this summer, Gill believes he will soon hit top gear again.

"Everyone realises he's a great player, he's had a difficult few months on the pitch, we all recognise that, but if you wind the clock back to the early part of this calendar year he was firing on all cylinders," he remarked.

"It's a great day for the club and a real statement of intent."

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