Rooney signs up with United until 2012
Wayne Rooney has declared his intention to stay at Manchester United for the remainder of his career.
The 21-year-old has been catapulted among United's top earners by signing a lucrative new contract extension with the Old Trafford outfit, committing his future to the club deal until 2012.
Although his previous contract was not due to expire for another four years, everyone connected with United is acutely aware of the impact Rooney has had since his £27million arrival from Everton and wanted any lingering fears about his long-term future plans cleared up immediately.
On the eve of the key championship showdown with Chelsea, which offers United the chance to move six points clear at the top, the news could not have been better timed.
And Rooney has stated his intention to emulate the likes of Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes by seeing out his days with the Red Devils.
'People like Ryan, Gary and Paul are an inspiration to me,'Rooney said.
'These days, players do not tend to stay at clubs too long. But I love it here and want to stay as long as I am welcome.'
Even though Rooney has collected just one Carling Cup winners' medal during his time at the club, the England star - who has scored 40 goals in 150 senior appearances - insisted he had no hesitation in extending his stay.
And he is already declaring his eagerness to add to his honours by ripping the title from Chelsea's grasp next spring.
'I had no hesitation in staying here at all,' he said.
'I have been looking to sign a new contract for a while.
'We have a really exciting young team here and this season, we have really started to gel. Hopefully, we can keep going forward because it could be the start of something big.
'I want to win the lot here. Hopefully we can start by winning the league this year and then kick on from there.'
While he may not have scored a European goal since his sensational debut-day hat-trick against Fenerbahce, Rooney has been prolific on the domestic front, netting his second three-timer at Bolton last month.
In extending his commitment to United, Rooney has also shot down any lingering suspicion of resentment, either against Sir Alex Ferguson for his public expressions of worry over the striker's fitness ahead of the World Cup, or team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo for his part in the Croxteth-born star's dismissal in the quarter-final defeat to Portugal.
That negotiations between United and Rooney's trusted advisor Paul Stretford only began two months ago emphasises the willingness of both parties to get the deal done.
And, having already secured Ronaldo to a long-term contract until 2010, Ferguson understandably believes United can look towards the future with optimism.
'There is no question Wayne Rooney is going to be one of the best players in the world,'said the long-serving Red Devils chief. 'He is improving all the time and this announcement is fantastic news for us.
'Both he and Cristiano have ability, courage, speed and talent. They are going to be great players and we are delighted to have them growing up at this club.
'They have their best years in front of them and we will all be lucky to witness that.'