Wayne Rooney set to become the highest-paid player in the Premier League as Manchester United look to secure striker's future

A mammoth £300,000-a-week deal is reportedly close to completion and Rooney is also being mooted as a potential captain when Nemanja Vidic leaves

Manchester United are close to reaching an agreement with striker Wayne Rooney that would see him put pen-to-paper on a four-and-a-half year deal worth an incredible £70m.

United are keen to keep the England striker out of the hands of Premier League rivals Chelsea following their intense interest during last summer that saw the Blues have two offers rejected. Although a deal has not been signed, it is sufficiently close to being complete that the club no longer fear a breakdown in negotiations or a U-turn on Rooney’s behalf.

Rooney publicly fell out with former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of last season, with the Scot choosing to drop the England international from his squad. With Ferguson retiring, Rooney unhappy and Chelsea interested, all bets were on a move to Stamford Bridge only for David Moyes succeeding in his attempt to persuade Rooney that his future lie at Old Trafford, though they are yet to confirm whether the deal will be a four or five-and-a-half year offer.

 

Under his current deal, Rooney is contracted to the club until the end of next summer, which has led to the reigning Premier League champions moving swiftly to try and tie down one of their prized assets. I has widely been reported that Rooney will be offered a staggering £300,000-a-week in a deal that will see him become the highest paid player in the Premier League, and puts him on a par with the likes of Gareth Bale and Lionel Messi – although Cristiano Ronaldo would still be ahead of him on his mammoth £78m contract he signed last summer.

To coincide with a possible new contract, Rooney is also in the running to take over the United captaincy at the end of the season, when current skipper Nemanja Vidic departs for pastures new after he confirmed he will leave the club when his deal expires. With Patrice Evra also expected to leave along with Rio Ferdinand – though the pair are yet to confirm their plans for the future – Rooney will be one of few candidates who could take on the captain’s armband, with his strike partner Robin van Persie and midfielder Michael Carrick also in the running.

The proposed contract would secure Rooney until he is nearly 33, meaning that he will have spent over 14 years at the club since his 2004 transfer from Everton providing he isn’t lured elsewhere. It would give the club a greater security when it comes to transfer offers for the 28-year-old too, given that he will be in the final 12 months of his contract this summer and could be available for a smaller fee than has been touted in the past.

Perhaps a sign of what could be an appointment in the not too distant future is the fact that Rooney has been informed of the club’s transfer plans and how they intend on returning to the top of the Premier League.

Speaking after the £37.1m acquisition of Juan Mata, Rooney said: “It’s exciting. Juan has come in and it’s another world-class player to have in the squad.

“It’ll take time – it can always take a little bit of time for every player to gel and to bond but we really hope we can all start scoring goals and help the team be successful.

“We’ve got a lot of massive games in the Champions League and the league. We’re all looking forward to them.”

United face relegation battlers Crystal Palace this weekend as they have a rare midweek off given their Champions League last-16 first leg with Olympiakos takes place next week. Given that they are already out of the FA Cup, the squad will not have played competitively for two weeks when they take to the Selhurst Park pitch on Saturday evening.

Given the squad could be a little rusty going into the match, Rooney is not concerned by the lack of playing time and actually feels the break could prove beneficial towards their attempt at hunting down fourth-placed Liverpool, who sit 11 points ahead of their long-time adversaries.

“We have a bit of a break before our next game now and hopefully we can prepare well and kick on for the big matches coming up,” Rooney claimed, ahead of the first of three straight away matches. “It’s nice to spend time together. When you’re at home you go to training then you go home and see your families, but with trips like this you’re training then spending time with the lads.”

Read More:
Vidic agrees to join Inter Milan - reports
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward promises big changes in summer
Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent