Wayne Rooney has committed his future to Manchester United by signing a four-year contract extension that makes him the best-paid player in the club’s history.
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The 28-year-old has finally put pen to paper on a reported 300,000 pounds-a-week deal that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2019, earning him 82.5 million pounds over that period, and take his stay at United to 15 years. He will also become a club ambassador when he retires from the game.
David Moyes told the club's official website: "Wayne has been the best player in England since I put him into the Everton first team in 2003. Since becoming United manager in July last year, I have enjoyed working with him and seeing just how he has developed his incredible talent. With his ability, his experience and his desire to succeed, he is a vital part of my plans for the future and I'm absolutely thrilled he has accepted the challenge.
"I said last July that Wayne has an outstanding chance to be a true legend of this club's long and rich history. He is just 42 goals away from overtaking Sir Bobby our record goalscorer and becoming the first United player to hit 250 goals for the club. These opportunities only come to special players and I'm confident Wayne will set a new record that will take decades to reach. These are really exciting times for everyone connected with the club."
Moyes also insisted there would be further signings of Rooney's calibre.
Wayne Rooney added: "I am made up to be staying at United. In August I will have been at the club for 10 years and during that time I have played with some fantastic players and won everything that I hoped I would when I first signed. I now have the chance as one of the club's senior players to help the younger players coming through and to be a part of another great United team.
"The fans have always been a huge part of this club and the support they have given me since my debut against Fenerbahce has been amazing. I am very grateful to all United fans around the world for their continued support.
"I am really excited to be a part of the club's future and want to thank David Moyes and Ed Woodward for their belief and support in me. I am convinced that this is the start of another successful chapter in Manchester United's history."
Very happy to announce that I have signed a new extended contract with Manchester United pic.twitter.com/8wAN9XbCBG— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) February 21, 2014
It brings to an end months of speculation about Rooney’s position, after former manager Sir Alex Ferguson claimed the England striker had asked to leave the club at the end of last season and omitted him from the squad for the last two games of his 26-year reign.
Chelsea submitted two bids for Rooney last summer, which United rejected, and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger also admitted he was interested in signing the former Everton forward.
Rooney's decision to sign a new deal represents a welcome boost to manager David Moyes, who had been adamant he wanted to keep the England international following the club record signing of Chelsea’s Juan Mata in the January transfer window.
United’s refusal to sell meant they had risked losing Rooney on a free transfer in the summer of 2015, when his previous contract was due to expire.
Rooney signed that deal, which was worth around 250,000 pounds-a-week, in October 2010 after performing a U-turn when he had released a statement claiming he wanted to leave United
Now his decision to commit to United means he is likely to end his career as the club’s record goalscorer. His new deal ends a few months before his 34th birthday.
He currently stands fourth on their all-time list with 208 goals in 430 games and is only 41 behind the leader, Sir Bobby Charlton. Rooney has struck 11 times in an injury-hit campaign and has been tipped to take over as United’s club captain when Nemanja Vidic leaves Old Trafford in the summer.
He came to United in a 25.6 million-pound deal from Everton in 2004 and has gone on to win the Premier League title five times and play in three Champions League finals, emerging a victor against Chelsea in 2008.