Manchester United are coming up to what will arguably be the most important summer transfer window in their history to date, with faces both big and small being linked with moves in and out of Old Trafford.
This week, it's the contract situation of Wayne Rooney that takes the spotlight, with the striker's future as a Red Devil in doubt and any extension promising to give the club a boost that they're in dire need of.
Follow Bleacher Report's Manchester United transfer tracker for all the latest gossip and rumours surrounding the Theatre of Dreams this week.
Friday, Feb. 21
Wayne Rooney has officially become the best-paid player in Premier League history after putting pen to paper over a new five-and-a-half-year deal at Old Trafford worth £300,000-a-week.
The new deal will see the striker remain a Red Devil until the end of the 2018-19 season, and could well be the last deal that he signs as a United player.
Per the club's official website, Rooney said:
I am made up to be staying at United. In August I will have been at the club for 10 years and during that time I have played with some fantastic players and won everything that I hoped I would when I first signed. I now have the chance as one of the club's senior players to help the younger players coming through and to be a part of another great United team.
The fans have always been a huge part of this club and the support they have given me since my debut against Fenerbahce has been amazing. I am very grateful to all United fans around the world for their continued support.
The deal will be worth more than £70 million through its duration, but the question is whether or not United will come to see this as a savvy bit of business or an extension they should have let pass them by.
Thursday, Feb. 20
With Nemanja Vidic set to leave the Theatre of Dreams when his contract expires at the end of this season, it appears Inter have won the race for his services.
According to the Serie A outfit's new president Erick Thohir, the Italian giants are very close to striking an agrrement for the Serbian, per Sky Sports:
"I don't want to announce something that's 90% done. I think it's better to make an announcement when it's complete. I don't want to speak on something that's not done yet."
Wednesday, Feb. 19
Fresh after netting the winner against Olhanense last weekend, Sporting Lisbon starlet Carlos Mane is reportedly drawing the gaze of several Premier League giants, with Manchester United among that number.
According to the Daily Mirror (h/t The Guardian's Michael Butler), the 19-year-old already has family in the United Kingdom, which could pay some significance in his next destination, should there be one.
Butler discusses David Moyes' potential transfer strategy in his new post, saying:
After United's last dip into untested Portuguese waters went so well (Bebé), David Moyes could well decide that stockpiling young talent for the future, rather than buying ready-made stars capable of winning him matches next season, could be the way to go.
Mane has only made eight first-team appearances for Sporting this term, his first in the club's senior ranks, but that wouldn't appear to be retraining the plaudits being aimed in his direction.
Update: Wednesday, Feb. 19
The Mirror's David McDonnell insists that a new deal for Rooney is "imminent," with the Manchester United striker ready to become the best-paid player in the Premier League.
As has been suggested, the deal will be worth a reported £300,000-a-week, equal to £70 million over the duration of the four-and-a-half-year deal.
[Sic] Rooney must now justify his lucrative new deal and vindicate United's decision to make him the highest-paid player in their history. After the soap opera of recent years regarding his future, it is the very least he owes United's loyal fans.
An extension of this length could well see the England star finish his career at Old Trafford, despite many a bump along his journey.
- - End of update - -
Monday, Feb. 17
Contrary to rumours, Manchester United insist that Rooney is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal at Old Trafford—a deal that's been rumoured to be worth a record-breaking £300,000 per week.
Sky Sports report a club spokesman as saying: "There is no deal, which is why we haven't announced it."
That goes against claims made by The Sun's Charlie Wyett on Sky Sports' Sunday Supplement programme, alleging that a four-and-a-half-year deal has been finalised:
We are saying that he has not just agreed, but he has actually signed. Obviously that has yet to be announced for Manchester United.
I think he realises it is the best place for him still. I know others thought he might go to Chelsea or elsewhere, but I think (David) Moyes has had a series of meetings with him and convinced him to stay. I think Rooney will be the next captain of Manchester United and I think that it is a boost for Moyes. He is obviously going through a difficult spell.
As things stand, Rooney's deal is set to expire next summer, but the forward remains one of United's most devastating weapons and is coming upon the most potent period of a striker's career.
Wednesday, Feb. 19
Irrespective of the on-pitch issues that David Moyes' side have and are continuing to experience this season, January arrival Juan Mata believes that Manchester United can still lure in the world's finest this summer.
Speaking to Canal Plus, per Paul Hirst of the Press Association (h/t Daily Mail), the Spaniard is confident his team can still land a top-four Premier League finish this term, saying:
I don't know what will happen in the summer but the manager said the other day at a press conference that he's going to be signing players
I think this club is at a stage of change, but I can tell you that the best players in the world will always arrive.
If nought else, Moyes can at least be encouraged that his club-record signing isn't grimacing about what the future holds for United, with a busy summer transfer window likely looming.
Tuesday, Feb. 18
The extent of Manchester United's interest in Sporting Lisbon centre-back William Carvalho would appear to be strong indeed after it was revealed that the the club have scouted their defensive target for a 12th time.
TalkSPORT say that the Red Devils are taking their time over the decision, which could end up costing them a fee of £30 million or more.
An excerpt from the report reads:
David Moyes is notoriously meticulous when it comes to running the rule over prospective new signings and his Old Trafford spies have been hard at work looking at Carvalho.
They were present in the stands for Sporting's 1-0 win over Olhanense at the weekend, with the 21-year-old again impressing in midfield.
With Nemanja Vidic leaving at the end of the season and Rio Ferdinand's fate still uncertain, it's of little surprise to see the Premier League giants taking no chances when it comes to who should next guard their goal.