Rooney signs new five-year contract
Wayne Rooney has signed a new five-year contract with Manchester United, ending speculation about his future.
It brings to an end an amazing ten days of claim and counter claim coming out of Old Trafford which began with Rooney refuting manager Sir Alex Ferguson's claim that he was suffering from an ankle injury and seemed set to culminate with the player being sold in January.
After 24 hours of high-level talks between the player's representatives, Sir Alex Ferguson, chief executive David Gill and the Glazer family, Rooney has decided to stay with the club and immediately penned a new deal through to 2015.
Sir Alex has told radio station Key 103 that Rooney has said sorry to him and his team-mates for the event of the past week. "Wayne has apologised to me and the players,'' Sir Alex said. "He will also do so with the supporters.''
Rooney said in an official club statement: "I'm delighted to sign another deal at United. In the last couple of days, I've talked to the manager and the owners and they've convinced me this is where I belong. I said on Wednesday the manager's a genius and it's his belief and support that have convinced me to stay.
"I'm signing a new deal in the absolute belief that the management, coaching staff, board and owners are totally committed to making sure United maintains its proud winning history - which is the reason I joined the club in the first place.
"I'm sure the fans over the last week have felt let down by what they've read and seen. But my position was from concern over the future. The fans have been brilliant with me since I arrived and it's up to me through my performances to win them over again."
In an interview with MUTV, Rooney added: "Since it became public knowledge we had to move quicker than everybody expected. Once it all came out, it looked as though there was nowhere to go. But the manager made it quite clear the door was still open for me to sign. The club still wanted me to sign.
"I spoke to my agent and said 'let's go in and sit down and try to resolve it to get the deal done'. We went in, spoke with the manager, the Glazers and David Gill. I am really pleased we managed to sort it out.''
Rooney insists Ferguson was not the sole reason for his decision to stay. But he admits the Scot is a powerful influence on his career.
"I am sure it has been difficult for him as well,'' acknowledged Rooney. "He has to look after the club and was trying to convince me to sign a new deal at the club.
"He is a great manager. I have said many times one of the big reasons I joined this club was to work under him, with his experience, passion and will to win. I wanted to be successful working with him.
"I have managed to do that. I am hoping in the next few years we can do that again.''
Sir Alex tried to explain the situation after a week at the centre of a media storm.
"It's been a difficult week, but the intensity of the coverage is what we expect at Manchester United," said the United boss. "I said to the boy that the door is always open and I'm delighted Wayne has agreed to stay.
"Sometimes, when you're in a club, it can be hard to realise just how big it is and it takes something like the events of the last few days to make you understand. I think Wayne now understands what a great club Manchester United is.
"I'm pleased he has accepted the challenge to guide the younger players and establish himself as one of United's great players. It shows character and belief for what we stand for.
"I'm sure everyone involved with the club will now get behind Wayne and show him the support he needs to produce the performances we know he is capable of."