- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
Rooney signs Man United deal through June 2019
LONDON (AP) - Less than a year after pushing to leave Manchester United, Wayne Rooney committed his long-term future to the struggling Premier League champion on Friday by signing a lucrative contract through June 2019.
The 28-year-old forward’s future at United has been uncertain since Chelsea tried to sign him last year, and he had only 18 months remaining on his current deal.
But Rooney now looks set to end his playing career at the club he has been at since 2004 after signing a contract reportedly worth around 300,000 pounds ($500,000) a week.
The deal makes Rooney the league’s top earner, and softens the blow of potentially not playing against Europe’s elite clubs next season. In the first season since David Moyes replaced Alex Ferguson, United is seventh in the league with 12 matches remaining, 11 points from England’s fourth Champions League berth.
“It’s not a massive concern for me,” Rooney said on his personal website. “This is because I know the direction that this club is going in, and if we don’t make it this season then we will come back stronger and claim a Champions League spot next season.
“Let’s not forget we still have a chance this year. Some of the other teams are playing well, but we have a strong squad here and if we have a positive end to the season then who knows what can happen.”
The England national team star has been at United almost a decade, since leaving an Everton team then managed by Moyes. In 403 United appearances, Rooney has scored 208 goals, putting him fourth on the club’s career list, 41 behind record-holder Bobby Charlton.
“Wayne has been the best player in England since I put him into the Everton first team in 2003,” Moyes said. “Since becoming United manager in July last year, I have enjoyed working with him and seeing just how he has developed his incredible talent.
As part of the new contract, Rooney will become a club ambassador when his playing career ends. He already is central to the club’s global marketing operation as one of the team’s most high-profile players.
“I’ve been here since I was 18 and this contract will take me through to my 30s, which is almost my entire professional career,” Rooney said. “I’ve played most of my best football here and am looking forward to hopefully playing even better football in the next few years.”
“Everyone would want him in their team,” Moyes said. “There were clubs who did want him. There were clubs who would have wanted him, but there was never going to be a chance he was going to leave Manchester United, certainly not on my watch.”
Convincing Rooney to stay, having already broken the club’s transfer record to sign midfielder Juan Mata last month, should help Moyes persuade other players to join as he looks to strengthen the squad.
“Part of the rebuilding is making sure that you keep the players you really want to keep,” Moyes said.
“We are looking to bring the best players in the world to the club. I think Wayne Rooney is one of them. I will be looking to make more signings in the summer and hopefully add to the quality we already have got.”
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again