Manchester United want to tie up the future of Wayne Rooney and are readying a contract offer of more than £50 million to ensure he does not join Chelsea.
According to Neil Custis of the Sun (subscription required), United “plan to have Wayne Rooney locked up on a new £52 million contract by the New Year.”
The deal would be worth that astonishing figure over a four-year period, reports Custis, and would effectively see the England man complete his prime years at Old Trafford.
David Moyes is well aware of Chelsea’s on-going interest in Rooney, whom Sir Alex Ferguson revealed asked to leave the club at the end of last season, per Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail.
Jose Mourinho made two summer bids for the all-action forward, reaching a figure of £25 million plus add-ons, according to BBC Sport.
Rooney eventually stayed and has been one of the stars of the Premier League season, scoring five goals and providing four assists in 10 league outings to date.
United have money at their disposal after executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward confessed BT’s acquisition of the Champions League rights will boost the club’s coffers, per Jack De Menezes of the Independent:
We are excited by the continuing rise in the value of sports content, evidenced, amongst other things, by the recently-announced BT deal for the UK rights to broadcast the Champions League and Europa League matches for three seasons from 2015-16.
This deal represents a meaningful increase over the current arrangement, which should translate into higher broadcasting revenues for the participating clubs.
United announced a record period of turnover on Thursday, per BBC News, and are ready to protect the future of the club by ensuring Rooney does not join any of their rivals.
By getting the deal done ahead of New Year’s Day, United would end any potential for a renewed bid from Chelsea during the winter transfer window.
If Rooney’s future is not settled by that time, United would likely face a month of unwanted speculation that could disrupt their attempt to defend their Premier League title.
The focus will now fall on whether the forward wants to stay at Old Trafford. The World Cup can act as a trigger for players to seek fresh challenges and, at 28 years of age, Rooney is running out of time if he wants to make one last major career move.