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Jan 23, 2010

Rooney set for new Utd deal as Real come calling

Wayne Rooney will be offered a new contract by Manchester United before the World Cup Finals to make him one of the highest paid players in English football, and Soccernet understands that England's big hope for success in South Africa 2010 will commit his long term future to Old Trafford.

• Ferguson calls for unity at Old Trafford

Rooney has been linked with a £100 million transfer - including a lucrative wage deal - to Real Madrid and super-agent Pini Zahavi has been hired by Los Blancos chief Florentino Perez to facilitate the move.

"Zahavi has been told to do all he can to try to bring Rooney to the Bernabeu. The club are confident a deal can be done," a Madrid source claimed in Sun Sport.

However, Zahavi is also a close friend of Sir Alex Ferguson and wouldn't upset the United manager, if, and when he is told 'Rooney is not for sale at any price', as Soccernet has been informed that the striker is central to Ferguson's team - and for the manager to remain at Old Trafford.

Sources close to Old Trafford have told Soccernet that a new contract will be offered to Rooney this summer, with the expectation that a new long term deal can be thrashed out.

It will be one of the biggest boosts for England manager Fabio Capello if he can take Rooney to the Finals in South Africa free of injury and free of any pressure over his future.

Manchester United will offer Rooney new terms as soon as the season is over, and Rooney's attitude is that, provided the terms are right, he will re-sign for United. His advisors wouldn't want him distracted by thinking about a new contract while trying to win the World Cup for England, which in turn would enhance his reputation.

The argument is that he might return an even greater commodity then before the global showcase event. But anyone thinking of the player's state of mind would want this issue sorted out ahead of the World Cup Finals.

Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced that Rooney will stay at Old Trafford because he loves it at the club, and has no desire to play abroad. Rooney has indicated he would turn his back on Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Barca's manager Pep Guardiola wants Rooney and it has even been suggested that former United defender Gerard Pique, would help him bend Rooney's ear, equally Real would hope that Cristiano Ronaldo would be a major influence in luring Rooney to the Bernabeu.

But the 24-year-old Rooney once commented "can you see me playing abroad?". His attitude hasn't changed.

Rooney's new contract will be tabled before the World Cup, when he will have two years left on his current Old Trafford deal. Rooney has said he would like to end his career at United, and providing the terms are right the deal could be agreed in principle before the 24-year-old heads to South Africa.

Rooney is sure to become United's best-paid player in a new five-year- deal, and although Barca and Real could easily better the offer, that will not be the overriding factor.

With United refinancing £700 million of debt, it has been suggested that another £80 million offer would turn their heads.

However, Soccernet understands that nothing has fundamentally changed about the way Sir Alex Ferguson and chief executive David Gill are left to run the club and the team.

Sir Alex opted to take Real's £80 million for Ronaldo, when it was clear that the player had his heart and soul set on playing for Real. There is no such emotional tug for Rooney, and if there is an emotional tie, it is to Old Trafford.

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