For most of 2013, it looked like Wayne Rooney would have to leave Manchester United to find his next payday. That no longer appears to be the case.
United will open contract talks with Rooney in the coming weeks. They are prepared to offer the English star a four-year deal worth £50 million ($81.5 million), according to the Mail.
“United executive chairman Ed Woodward has contacted Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford a number of times in the past few weeks, and it is understood formal meetings will take place soon,” the report says.
“It is the first sign of a breakthrough between the player and the club since the breakdown in relations with Sir Alex Ferguson, aggravated by the former boss’s insistence that Rooney, 28, had asked to leave the club, something the striker has always denied.”
The reported offer would see Rooney match Robin van Persie‘s salary and become United’s joint-highest-paid player again. The deal’s length and terms reflect Rooney’s importance to United in the early days of the David Moyes era at Old Trafford and mark a dramatic reversal from late last season when it seemed like he was likely to leave the club.
United resisted Chelsea’s interest in Rooney during the summer transfer window, and Moyes restored him to his favored role as a center forward. Both player and club are reaping the rewards for the stance.
Rooney has notched 10 goals and 16 assists in 21 games this season (in all competitions), making him perhaps United’s only standout performer in this difficult campaign. His status as a United hero is once-again secure, as he continues his pursuit of Sir Bobby Charlton‘s record for most goals in club history. His 207 goals for United put him fourth on the all-time goal scorers’ list — just 42 behind Charlton.
United has struggled to keep pace with its rivals, and it would take an unforeseen turnaround in fortunes for the Red Devils to retain their title. As Moyes sets out to reconstruct United’s squad in the coming months and years he will most likely do so with Rooney as his cornerstone.
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