Rooney set for long haul with United

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Wayne Rooney has provided welcome news for Manchester United by declaring himself ready to spend the next 10 years at Old Trafford. Although the 20-year-old's present contract is not due to expire until 2010, Rooney is so confident about United's future that he would welcome the chance to stay with the club for the next decade.

"I don't see any reason why I won't be," Rooney said. "It's a massive club with a massive fan base and we've got a lot of good young players in the squad now. Hopefully, we're going to keep getting better.

"I joined Manchester United to win trophies and win medals so hopefully I can start this season," said Rooney. United were impressive when winning 3-1 at Charlton on Saturday, a fortnight after ending Chelsea's unbeaten start to the Premiership season.

"Hopefully, we can kick on from that game now and keep winning games," he said. "Hopefully, Chelsea will drop a few points and we can get close to them or even catch them, and with a bit of luck we could end up overtaking them."

Rooney sees Van Nistelrooy as the key in the chase of Chelsea. "Ruud is a proven goalscorer and I think if you look at his goalscoring record it's up with the best," he said. "Ruud is a great player and a great lad as well. If he keeps scoring I'm sure he'll break all kinds of records. The main thing with Ruud is his instinct. It's his awareness. When the ball's around the box it always seems to find him somehow.

"Obviously I'd like to score a few more goals but I'm delighted if we win 1-0 and the goalkeeper scores. I'm happy when we win a game and just as happy if one of the other player scores and we win."

Rooney also defended Rio Ferdinand who has come in for criticism from some quarters of late. "Rio's one of the best defenders in the world so obviously it was brilliant he signed a new contract," said Rooney of the defender's new deal that was agreed in August. "Everyone at the club was delighted and it was like a new signing really."