Tuesday 20 March 2018

United stall on Rooney

Jason Burt in Bangkok

Manchester United are unlikely to offer Wayne Rooney a new contract this year with manager David Moyes wanting to see whether he can get "Wayne right back to where he was".

It is accepted that Rooney is unsettled at United, after a difficult campaign last season in which his relationship with Alex Ferguson deteriorated, with Chelsea increasingly keen to make a bid. Moyes reiterated he would not sell him, but added that he was also determined that neither would speculation over Rooney's future, and his form, overshadow United and, crucially, he was prepared to wait to see whether the player's form improved.

"Manchester United isn't about Wayne Rooney," Moyes said. "Manchester United is about the team, the club." United chief executive Ed Woodward said that although Rooney had just two years left on his contract he is "not currently sitting down with any player on an extension".

Although the intention not to offer Rooney a new deal will dismay the player, Moyes has also gone out of his way to praise him. "I think he's got a major role to play," he said, adding that United were unlikely to alter their forward line this summer. "We need to see how it works. Maybe in a year's time we might have to look at something else."

Moyes said that Rooney had already told him he wanted to play as a central striker. "He wants to be a goalscorer," he said, adding that it was a "challenge" to work with Rooney "and see whether we can get him back to the level he was at".

Meanwhile, it is understood the club are not planning to improve their offer of £12m for Leighton Baines.

Irish Independent

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