Sunday 26 February 2017

Ace Wayne swayed by phone call with owner

Mark Ogden

Wayne Rooney committed himself to a new £160,000-a-week five-year contract at Manchester United following a telephone conversation with club chairman Joel Glazer during a day of intensive negotiations on Thursday.

The England forward was given an unprecedented direct line to the senior member of the Glazer family, United's American owners. Rooney was given assurances during his conversation with Glazer that money would be made available for United to recruit the world's best players.

United's debt, which now exceeds £720m, has prompted concerns among the club's fan-base over their ability to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea in the transfer market.

But having been assured by Glazer that repaying the debt would not affect Ferguson's transfer kitty, Rooney was then prepared to review the outline structure of the contract offer drawn up by the club, but unseen by the player, during the summer.

Gill was then able to make progress in talks in his Old Trafford office with Paul Stretford, Rooney's agent.

Ferguson also discussed Rooney's future with Gill and Stretford on Thursday afternoon. With Rooney signalling his readiness to consider United's offer, the striker left the negotiations in the hands of Stretford and Gill, while lawyers from both camps began work on drawing up the legal framework of the contract, which United insist contains no escape clause for the player.

Gill left Old Trafford on Thursday night confident that a deal was more likely than not, prompting the club to release a holding statement at 7pm.

But the contract was not finalised until yesterday morning, when Rooney arrived at United's Carrington training ground and spoke to Ferguson before confirming his decision to stay. (©The Daily Telegraph)

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