Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted that Wayne Rooney is hitting his peak as he hinted that the 27-year-old will play a major part for Manchester United over the next few years.
Rooney, who joined from Everton in 2004, made his 400th United appearance when they beat Aston Villa 3-0 to clinch the title and only needs three more goals to become the fourth man to register a double century for the club.
However, his future has been the subject of speculation since he was dropped for the second leg of the Champions League clash against Real Madrid, with Paris Saint-Germain reportedly interested in the player.
Ferguson, though, has suggested Rooney's best years are still to come as he argued that United's young players position them to prosper in coming seasons.
He told Inside United: "You have to look at the structure of the club at present, in terms of the number of first-team players we have at 23 or under. David de Gea, Rafael, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Alex Buttner, Nick Powell, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck. Shinji Kagawa and Chicharito [Javier Hernandez] are 24. Jonny Evans is 25 and Wayne Rooney is hitting his peak at 27.
"Older players like Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand may be coming towards the end of their careers, but these younger players are the foundation for the next five or six years, irrespective of the players breaking through, like Adnan Januzaj, the Belgian boy, who's really looking very good."
Ferguson suggested he has a sizeable transfer budget to bolster his squad, adding: "Hopefully the players we bring into the club in the next year or so will be of the quality we need. We're competitive in the market – we're not Chelsea or Manchester City in terms of money but we're competitive.
"We've been doing a bit of work on that over the last three or four months, targeting who the players are that we feel could enhance us, make us better or help us maintain the level we're at."