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Rooney contract strong indicator that United will rise again

Manchester United fans have been given welcome news, in the midst of a struggling season, that star player Wayne Rooney is set to sign a five-and-a-half year contract worth up to £300k a week.

The club have not confirmed the deal is done, but reports suggest that a signature from the 28-year-old is imminent. His contract will cement the forward’s stay at Old Trafford until 2019 – the season after the World Cup in Russia.

Coral had previously offered 2/1 for Rooney to depart the club this summer, but if and when the contract is signed, those odds will no doubt dramatically drift, or disappear altogether.

Rooney, whose current deal runs out in 2015, has attempted to leave Man Utd in the past (including last summer) but the club twice riposted bids from Chelsea. It now seems the Red Devils will get to see the Liverpudlian in his prime years and beyond.

David Moyes will be particularly pleased as his new side languish in unheard-of territory for Man Utd – seventh place – and have odds of only 7/1 for a top four finish.

The Scot first worked with Rooney at Everton, and although they have had their differences in past years, it will be a sigh of relief for the club who seem to be becoming the next Liverpool – who were so dominant in the 1970s and 80s but not won the league since 1990.

After current club captain Nemanja Vidic’s announced he would leave United in the summer, Rooney’s impending contract could be a strong indicator the England international will take over from the Serb at the end of the season.

Other players such as former Arsenal skipper and current Holland captain Robin van Persie, Michael Carrick and ex-Scotland leader Darren Fletcher could be in the frame, but it is difficult to see past Rooney at this stage.

The 88-capped England international, who is in his 10th year at Man Utd, is looking to surpass Sir Bobby Charlton’s club goalscoring record of 249, and being just 41 behind, it seems that feat will be more than reachable now.

Rooney has been one of the few United players this season to warrant any praise, managing 11 goals and 17 assists in 28 games in all competitions so far.

The 11-point deficit between the Red Devils and fourth-placed Liverpool seems too much to cut down, but Rooney will be a key part of the rebuilding process from next season.