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Breaking news: Rooney to stay at Manchester United
Well, what an extraordinary twist this is: Wayne Rooney has agreed a new five-year deal with Manchester United and is staying at Old Trafford after all. Here’s the club statement:
Wayne Rooney has agreed a new 5 year contract to stay at Manchester United until at least June 2015.
The agreement follows intensive discussions between the Club and the player’s representatives and means that by the end of his contract Wayne will have been a Manchester United player for 11 years.
Sir Alex Ferguson said: “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.”
Wayne Rooney 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.”
UPDATE: One interesting thing to note here is that Jose Mourinho was right all along when he predicted Rooney would end up staying. What was it he said? The “big man” will persuade him his future is at Old Trafford?
I guess reports of Ferguson’s diminishing powers were overstated somewhat. He can still be the most persuasive man in football…
More news as we get it
PHOTO: Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney lines up before their Champions League Group C soccer match against Rangers at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England, September 14, 2010. REUTERS/Darren Staples