Analysis: Rooney hands troubled United another soothing balm

Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:32pm EST
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By Ed Osmond

LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United's season of turmoil received another huge lift when England striker Wayne Rooney committed his future to the Premier League champions on Friday.

Languishing seventh in the table after a stuttering campaign under new manager David Moyes, United's prospects of turning things round improved significantly when Rooney signed a four-year contract extension with the Old Trafford club.

Close to leaving in 2010 and wooed strongly by Chelsea last year, the 28-year-old Rooney has been in excellent form, dispelling doubts about his fitness which surfaced under former manager Alex Ferguson last season to score nine league goals.

It was widely expected that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho would revive his bid to recruit Rooney at the end of the campaign but the former Everton forward has decided to try to write his name into United folklore by breaking Bobby Charlton's club scoring record.

"This is definitely something I would like to achieve," Rooney told the United website (

"If I managed to do it it'd be something I'd be very proud of. My aim is always to score and create as many goals as possible, so if I can continue to score regularly and break the record then I would be delighted."

Rooney has netted 208 goals for United in 430 games, 41 fewer than England World Cup winner Charlton, and his continuing presence at Old Trafford will be a relief for Moyes who made another important move by signing Spain midfielder Juan Mata from Chelsea last month.

Rooney, who reports say is now the highest paid player in the Premier League, has won five Premier League titles with United since joining from Everton in 2004 as well as the 2008 Champions League and Club World Cup, and two League Cups.   Continued...

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring a goal against Cardiff City during their English Premier League soccer match at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, November 24, 2013. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden