United delay Rooney's £150,000-a-week deal

Manchester United will wait until the conclusion of the World Cup in July before beginning contract talks in earnest with Wayne Rooney, which suggests they believe there is categorically no risk of a superb tournament with England leading to more wealthy clubs enticing him away later this summer.

United's chief executive David Gill said in January that a new deal for Rooney, who is expected to increase his basic £90,000-a-week salary at Old Trafford to more than £150,000, would be tied up no earlier than July and the first reports from Spain of Real Madrid's interest in the striker have not changed the picture. The club are clearly convinced that there is no prospect of Rooney becoming pessimistic about United's prospects of regaining domestic and European ascendancy if other clubs outspend United this summer. For his part, Sir Alex Ferguson hinted at a summer of transfer activity when he indicated on Tuesday night that there was need to "freshen up" the squad.

Rooney declared after receiving the fans and players' player of the year award on the same evening that Manchester United have only themselves to blame if they don't win the title this weekend, having blown the chance to capitalise on other teams' weaknesses to win one of the most open Premier League title races.

"All the top teams have lost games. If we could have stayed more consistent and not lost so many games we would have won the League," he said. "We shouldn't be losing seven games at this club. Other teams have dropped points as well so it has been an open league."

Rooney reflected on how two years of practice have contributed to him scoring far more goals with his head. "I've been practising those for two years now and I never thought I would score headers consistently but I had a great run in the middle of the season when I scored 10 in about 11 or 12 games. It is good when your hard work pays off," he said. He believes there is "still hope" that Wigan may deny Chelsea a point and allow United to take the title by defeating Stoke City at Old Trafford on Sunday.

In an interview for Match of the Day magazine, he declared that the United player he most likes to play with is Antonio Valencia. "I couldn't have scored the amount of goals I have this season without him. He's been great this year and the quality of balls he puts in the box for me has been unbelievable." Rooney also confirmed the story of how he has taught his wife's parents' parrot to say his son Kai's name: "It was funny at first, but now it just won't shut up."

United's Ben Foster has accepted he will have to leave Old Trafford to revive his career. "If you leave this club you are only ever going to go down," he said. "But I want to be playing football. I am not interested in just hanging around and I would go if the club wanted to sell me." A loan move to Birmingham City seems a possibility, with Joe Hart back at Manchester City.

Gary Neville agreed with Rooney that United must shoulder the blame if their attempt for a record fourth successive league title fails on Sunday. "When you leave it in the hands of others, you have to take the punishment for it," he said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty

Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow after showing his Spring 2015 collection in September, his last show before his death
fashionThe passing of the legendary designer has left a vacancy: couturier to America’s royalty, says fashion editor Alexander Fury
Life and Style

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'

Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album