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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Jan 25, 2014

Rooney begins new contract talks

ESPN FC analyst Raphael Honigstein explains why Chelsea sold Juan Mata to their Red Devil rivals.

Wayne Rooney has begun initial discussions over a new contract at Manchester United, but sources on both sides of negotiations maintain that no deal has yet been struck.

• United bid for Saints starlet Shaw
Darke: United making the right move
•  Marcotti: Unpacking the Juan Mata deal

Rooney's future at Old Trafford had been cast into doubt over recent months amid increasing interest from the likes of Chelsea and Real Madrid.

The striker has 18 months remaining on his current contract and United have so far refused to sell one of their main assets, having turned down two separate bids from Chelsea last summer.

Earlier this week, reports emerged that Real Madrid were eyeing up a 25 million pound swoop for Rooney, following his apparent reluctance to commit his future to United.

However, Old Trafford officials were this week hugely confident of the forward signing a new agreement, and it is believed that the offer involves wages of £300,000 a week.

It is understood Rooney’s camp are not quite so certain about how negotiations will end, but they are “open-minded” and willing to listen to United’s offer.

Sources at Old Trafford maintain that marks a significant change in stance from the player, and that his representatives had previously rejected repeated attempts to open negotiations.

Those close to Rooney, however, insist that was never the case. The player’s representatives merely wanted to “wait and see” how the season developed. \

Rooney also wished to judge who United signed in this window, and what sort of position that would leave them in as regards Champions League qualification.

The signing of Juan Mata is undeniably a statement from United, and it was noted that Rooney had followed the Spaniard on twitter over the past few days.

United’s spending also looks set to continue, with manager David Moyes targeting at least one, if not two signings by Friday’s transfer deadline. United want a midfielder and a replacement for Patrice Evra.

A 22 million pound bid has been tabled for Southampton’s Luke Shaw, while a number of options are being surveyed for the centre of the pitch.

As reported by ESPN last week, United have initiated contact for Juventus’ Arturo Vidal but are also interested in Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan and Bayern Munich’s Toni Kroos.

Even if United do not manage to secure any one of those signings this window, they will remain interested in the summer, and see Newcastle United’s Yohan Cabaye as a potential medium-term option.

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