Friday, 22 October 2010

Wayne Rooney is now pocketing


By IAN LADYMAN Northern Football Correspondent

Forcing the issue: Rooney failed to apologise to fans but did say sorry to his team-mates, admitting he has a lot to prove

Wayne Rooney's decision to stay at Manchester United was followed by an emotional, face-to-face apology to his team-mates - on the orders of manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Smirking Rooney, however, stopped short of saying sorry to fans in an interview on the club's TV channel, even though Ferguson had suggested in his own interview that he would.

The 24-year-old United striker signed a five-year, £200,000-a-week contract at Old Trafford only two days after suggesting his fellow players were not good enough to win major trophies.

In a subsequent interview, Rooney admitted it may take a while for him to regain the trust of the supporters.

He said: 'I'm sure the fans have been upset after everything they have heard. My message is that I care for the club. I just want it to continue to be successful. Some fans may not take to me again very quickly. It may take time.

'But I'll give everything. I will give 100 per cent and try to build that relationship back. I hope we can work together and try and win trophies. I can't wait to play. I am just gutted I'm injured. I just want to get back on to the pitch and back to form. I will be back to my best. There is no problem.'

It is also understood United and Rooney agreed the deal in the knowledge that the club's star asset is unlikely to stay if promises made in a phone conversation with owner Joel Glazer on Thursday are not met.

Rooney has the double-your-money pay rise he wanted and a commitment that the club will invest in top players.

And United know if he becomes unsettled, they will be able to command a proper market price.

Rooney, ruled out of Sunday's game at Stoke with an ankle problem, added: 'I am delighted. There has been a lot of controversy over the timing of this. It's been difficult for me and for the club as well. I felt I had to get my point across.

'We finally came to an agreement. It's the best for me and for the club. As a player I care for the club. I had some concerns.'

Rooney then apologised to the team-mates he had seemed to suggest were not good enough. He stood before them in the dressing-room at the club's training ground and retracted his comments after being ordered to do so by Ferguson.

'I made [chief executive] David Gill and the manager aware,' he said.

'It's been very complicated. It's about the club and my career. I had to think about it very hard. I'm delighted it's over and we can put it to the back of our minds.'

United revealed at 12.29pm on Friday that Rooney was staying. It brought to an end one of the most remarkable weeks in the club's history.

U-turn: Rooney ended a week of off-field drama and speculation by putting pen to paper on a lucrative new contract

Rooney's deal takes him ahead of United's other big earners such as Rio Ferdinand and also beyond England colleagues Frank Lampard and John Terry at Chelsea, but does stop short of the £220,000-a-week (including add-ons) Yaya Toure has written in to his contract at Manchester City.

Ferguson said: 'Sometimes when you're at a club you can't look outside. You seem to think that something's better elsewhere. But once all that publicity came out, particularly the impact and response from everyone about how big Manchester United is, I think that resonated with Wayne quite a lot, and he's had second thoughts and wants to stay.

'He has apologised to me and the players, and I think he'll do that with the fans, which is important, because we've all been hurt by the events of the past few days
'I always feel it's a quality in a person when they say they're sorry and realise they've made a mistake. That happens, particularly with young people, and I admire that. The job now is to put it behind us, get Wayne back on that pitch and get him playing the way we know he can.

Player power: Ferdinand was delighted by Rooney's decision to stay

'So it's a big day for United and a big message to all of our players and all of our fans that we're the biggest club in the world and we should never forget that.'

Rooney himself paid tribute to Ferguson, adding: 'With other players these contract things happen but they don't become public. Mine became public and that made it difficult.

'I'm glad its over but it's been difficult for the manager as well. He has looked after the club.

'He was trying to convince me to sign. He has been fantastic.

'He is one of the reasons I came to the club, to work under him and be successful. He is not the only reason I am staying, but he is one of the reasons.'

United team-mate Ferdinand, who endured his own contract difficultiea few years ago, said: 'I am delighted Wayne has signed. I've been there myself. Deep down Wazza knows he is a Manchester United player and this where he is best.'

source :dailymail [endtext]

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