Wayne Rooney, the young English striker, has decided to stay in Manchester. More specifically he has decided to spurn a move to Manchester City and stay, instead, at Old Trafford with Manchester United. For the past week it had appeared quite clear, courtesy of official statements from Wayne Rooney and Manchester United Football Club, that the player was going to move away from the club after making it clear that he was not going to sign a new contract and extend his stay at Manchester United.
Wayne Rooney had indicated he was unhappy with the terms offered to him – apparently the contract offered was not as large as he anticipated – and that he was unconvinced that the club could continue to compete with the biggest clubs in Europe because of the unparalleled wealth at Manchester City, the resurgence of Chelsea and the debt saddled onto the club by the Glazer family. Manchester United, on the other hand, were dismayed at the news and were seemingly willing to let the player leave as soon as possible in order to maximise the transfer fee they would receive. The players previous contract was due to end in 2012, at the end of the 2011-12 season, and so the club was in a weak position, potentially having to sell the player for as little as £20 million despite his value, when secured against a lengthy contract, usually being closer to £60 million.
On Thursday afternoon it was announced, however, that the club had agreed a new contract with the player and he will now stay for five more years which means he should play the majority of his career at Old Trafford, especially the most vibrant years of his career (typically those between the age of 25 – 30). It had appeared that Wayne Rooney had a problem with Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager of Manchester United for the past two decades, and that this was one of the causes of his desire for an exit. This now appears to have been cleared up, at least partially. The club will be hoping that Wayne Rooney can now find some good form, similar to that which he enjoyed last year, and fire the club back to the summit of the table and a title laden season. Manchester United have endured some disappointing form this season. The club remains unbeaten but they have drawn far too many matches for their own liking, including draws against the likes of Glasgow Rangers and West Bromwich Albion at home and Bolton, Everton, Fulham and Sunderland away from Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson will be aware that had even three of those draws been converted into victories the mood surrounding Manchester United’s season would be very different at this moment in time. Manchester United now play Stoke for a match of vital importance to them in terms of their Premiership title challenge. Wayne Rooney will be unavailable for the match and is not expected to feature for the next two or three weeks because he is carrying a slight ankle injury.