Manchester United are on course to tie up an imminent new £300,000-a-week deal with Wayne Rooney, with only the fine details of the player’s image rights deal now holding up negotiations.
United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward is understood to have has struck a deal with the 28-year-old and his representatives over the player’s salary and bonus structure. But United will want to take a controlling involvement in any revenue which the player earns through his own image rights. This is the point over which the two sides are now haggling.
Rooney’s representatives may want to retain a percentage of the rights for the player, while United will want the rights to compensate them for such a huge weekly salary – and will not want Rooney to strike deals with commercial partners independently. But there is no sense that the issue will be an impediment to the deal moving ahead. Woodward believes that the deal may be finalised today or tomorrow. If it can’t be concluded by the close of play on Friday, an announcement may have to wait until United have returned from their Champions League tie in Greece next week, as both player and chief executive will be away on that trip.
The announcement may come ahead of United’s trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday, which would be boost to manager David Moyes as he sets about the 12-game run-in to the end of the season during which United face a tall order in reeling in the sides who stand above them in their chase for fourth spot – Everton, Tottenham Hotspur - and Liverpool, who are 11 points ahead of them.
Though the official line from United is that they remain hopeful of retaining their Champions League spot, provisions are being made for a ticketing regime for United in the Europa League. To the dismay of many fans, the same prices will be charged for Europa League tickets as Champions League tickets for season ticket holders.