Manchester United

Manchester United Transfer News: How Juan Mata Deal Affects Wayne Rooney

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on December 21, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2014

Manchester United are prepared to throw £65 million at Wayne Rooney to ensure his long-term is at Old Trafford. That’s according to reports that suggest the Premier League champions are set to sit down with the England international and discuss a bumper four-year deal, which would see him earn wages comparable to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Per Simon Mullock in the Mirror, Rooney is set to be offered a deal amid reassurances that David Moyes will be handed a £200 million war chest to bolster his squad in the summer. The news caps off an excellent few days for the club in which it has reaffirmed its unwaveringly lofty ambitions by signing Spanish playmaker Juan Mata in a club-record deal of £37.1 million per BBC Sport.

United confirmed the deal on their official website yesterday:

Medical complete, deal done. @JuanMata10 is a Red! #mufcmata

— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 25, 2014

According to Mullock, Rooney’s representatives are keen to sit down and discuss terms on a new contract, and that marks a hugely significant turnaround for a player who was the subject of major interest from Chelsea in the summer and was reportedly keen to join Jose Mourinho’s team ahead of the new season per Ben Smith of BBC Sport.

Mourinho was keen to sign Rooney this summer, but has selling Mata to United scuppered his hopes of securing the England man?
Mourinho was keen to sign Rooney this summer, but has selling Mata to United scuppered his hopes of securing the England man?Scott Heppell/Associated Press

Whilst the capture of Mata is a sign of intent that United remain in the market for the very best players around, keeping Rooney would arguably be an even bigger indicator that the Old Trafford club will be mixing in with the Premier League elite sooner rather than later. A deal for the Spaniard is sure to galvanise the squad and convince big players like Rooney that their futures lie in Manchester.

The past few days have been a bright spot for Moyes in a season where deficiencies in his squad have been accentuated. United have struggled with injured players, loss of form and a dearth of confidence during the first half of the season, and they currently sit in sixth position in the Premier League standings.

The capture of Mata is only going to help keep big names like Rooney.
The capture of Mata is only going to help keep big names like Rooney.Scott Heavey/Getty Images

The former Everton boss has come in for some harsh criticism in the infancy of his Manchester United tenure, but by signing Mata and making strides on securing the long-term services of Rooney, he is certainly making the right moves to get some disillusioned Red Devils supporters back onside.

These positive moves will also seek to send a message to other clubs in the Premier League that this season's faltered title challenge will be an anomalous one.

One thing Moyes can certainly take some credit for is the manner in which Rooney has been playing this season before his recent hiatus through injury. Despite being keen to leave the club as previously noted, the England talisman has played with a verve, vigour and ruthlessness that was noticeably absent in the previous campaign under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Maddock suggests Moyes wants to build his United team around Rooney.
Maddock suggests Moyes wants to build his United team around Rooney.Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press

Moyes gave Rooney a key role in the team in his favoured position, and the England man delivered the goods. In the early part of the campaign, the Liverpool-born forward dragged United to some crucial results, and his recent absence has really hampered United as of late.

Wayne Rooney Statistics 2013/14
TournamentApps (As a Sub)GoalsAssists
Premier League16(1)99
UEFA Champions League523
Total21 (1)1112
Who Scored?

It’s clear Moyes is keen on ushering in some major changes at the club during this offseason, but United clearly want Rooney to be a nexus of stability for which this Red Devils team can be built around.

Plus, with the club far from certain of securing Champions League football for next season, big names like Rooney and Mata committing to the club on a long-term basis will help maintain the club’s pulling power if it is to pursue some of the very biggest names around.

After a rocky start to 2014 on the pitch, the business United are looking to do off it points to a bright and prosperous year for the Premier League champions.

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