Wayne Rooney close to new €85 million deal at Old Trafford
United hoping striker signs a four-and-a-half year contract
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini: facing an investigation by Uefa into his comments about the referee following the defeat to Barcelona. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA
Wayne Rooney’s €85 million Manchester United deal is being held up by negotiations over his image rights, although the club remain convinced the striker will sign a four-and-a-half year contract in the next week.
While the football part of the deal, worth around €364,000 a week and likely to include becoming the club’s new captain, has been agreed, the off-field payments and incentives are yet to be agreed.
Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, who is leading negotiations for United is on holiday but is continuing to work on the deal while away.
If Rooney does sign, it will represent a major coup for Woodward and the manager, David Moyes, after the player had determined he wanted to leave for Chelsea after falling out of favour with Moyes’s predecessor, Alex Ferguson.
Last season Ferguson referred to Rooney’s lack of fitness and the need for him to have regular game-time to be an effective force. It was viewed as an odd comment regarding Rooney, who at 27 should have been enjoying his best years and who was in no doubt he was in prime condition.
Ferguson also continually played Rooney out of position in midfield, which frustrated him, and he was dropped for key matches, including the Champions League last-16 meeting with Real Madrid at Old Trafford last March.
Moyes and Woodward’s task of persuading Rooney that his future remained at the club was made even more difficult by Ferguson claiming the forward had formally asked for a transfer.
This was denied by the Rooney camp, with it being stated that the striker had met with Ferguson only for informal discussions to understand how his long-term future was viewed. Privately, the club accept that Rooney never handed in a formal written transfer request.
That meeting between Rooney and Ferguson came before the latter announced he would step down as United boss. Once Moyes arrived as Ferguson’s replacement he began, along with Woodward, to persuade Rooney his United side would be built around him.
With Rooney wanting to see how the season would unfold under Moyes, the club were willing to wait until after World Cup finals to begin any talks over terms.
Once Rooney indicated he was happy under the new manager, enjoying his football and willing to enter discussions about a new deal, the talks were brought forward.
Meanwhile, Uefa has launched an investigation into Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini’s controversial comments after their midweek defeat by Barcelona.
Pellegrini questioned the impartiality of referee Jonas Eriksson and accused the Swede of deciding the outcome of Tuesday‘s 2-0 loss to the Spanish champions.
“Uefa has mandated a disciplinary inspector to commence an investigation concerning the press interviews given by the Manchester City FC head coach Manuel Luis Pellegrini,” said Uefa in a statement.
“Based on the outcome of this investigation, a decision will be taken on whether disciplinary proceedings will be opened.”
Pellegrini told a news conference that Eriksson should be very happy “because he decided the match“. He added: “The referee was not impartial. He did not have any control of the game.”
Elsewhere, Inter Milan are on the verge of signing Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic, with president Erick Thohir saying that the deal was almost finalised.
“I can‘t saying anything other than the deal for Vidic is 90 percent done,“ Indonesian Thohir said. “When everything is sorted we will make an announcement.“
Inter have been favourites to sign Serb central defender Vidic, who is out of contract with United at the end of the season. Inter are currently fifth in Serie A.