Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wayne Rooney vows to repay Manchester United fans after quit threat... but refuses to say sorry for contract saga

Wayne Rooney vows to repay Manchester United fans after quit threat... but refuses to say sorry for contract saga



Wayne Rooney insists his long-term future is at Manchester United and that he is determined to prove to fans he is there to stay - but stopped short of issuing an apology following his recent contact saga.

The England striker, 24, put an end to the protracted negotiations, in which he threatened to leave after questioning the club’s ambition, when he put pen-to-paper on a new five-year deal last month.

Rooney will make his first start since September at Ibrox against Rangers in the Champions League on Wednesday night, fresh from making his comeback against Wigan at the weekend in which he was delighted with the reception he received upon his return.

On his way back: Wayne Rooney is set to start against Rangers in the Champions League

On his way back: Wayne Rooney is set to start against Rangers in the Champions League

‘It was a great feeling [to pull on the shirt again], obviously having been out for a long time and the issues that have gone on over the last few weeks,’ he told MUTV.

‘I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about the reaction from the fans but overall I thought the reception was brilliant and all I want to do is get on the pitch and score goals.

‘I can understand the fans frustrations with the contract negotiations, how it happened in the public eye which made it more difficult. But at the end of the day, the main thing for myself and the club was that we managed to agree that deal.’

Rooney refutes claims that he only extended his contract so that the club can cash in on him in a future transfer window.

Manchester City and Chelsea were among a host of potential suitors but Rooney said: ‘I’ve heard from different people that I’ve agreed a new deal so that the club can agree a higher price for me to join a different team somewhere along the line.

Focus: Wayne Rooney

Focus: Wayne Rooney

‘But that’s a load of rubbish. I’ve stayed a new deal to here. My long-term future is at Manchester United.’

Rooney recently spent a week of rehabilitation at club sponsors Nike’s global HQ to improve his fitness after a month-long ankle injury.

After a series of intense SPARQ (Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness) sessions in the United States, Rooney is now confident he is back at full fitness and is looking forward to starting in the Champions League.

‘My fitness is coming back,’ he added. ‘I went away for a week to the States to work on my fitness which I thought was just what I needed, to get away and get my fitness up.

‘I’ve come back and trained well with the lads and I was happy to get 30-35 minutes on Saturday. The manager has said I’m going to play tomorrow against Rangers so I’m just looking forward to that.’

Rooney defended his recent trips to Dubai, with wife Coleen, and then to Portland, where he worked on his fitness, saying it was on the orders of the club.

He said: ‘I got injured and the medical team at the club made it clear that they didn’t want me to do anything for seven to ten days and they felt it was best for me to go away and take that time off because there was no training for me to do.

‘People made a big deal of it but it’s happened to me and other players in the past where they haven’t been able to train and given time off. It was made into a big thing at the time.

‘Then i went to the States with a guy from the Man United medical team to work on my fitness training and it was really intense working from nine in the morning to six or seven at night.

‘It was just what I needed to get myself back fit because I wanted to make sure that when i returned to team I was fit and ready not that it would take for a five weeks to get back into games.’

Rooney also played down any rifts with his team-mates following his contract saga, saying they have all been supportive of him as he looks to get back to his goalscoring best.

Centre of attention: Rooney chases the ball during training at Carrington on Tuesday

Centre of attention: Rooney chases the ball during training at Carrington on Tuesday

‘The players have been fine, there’s been no problems whatsoever,’ he said.

As for his new deal, understood to worth around £200,000-a-week, Rooney revealed he was delighted to put an end to all the speculation surrounding his future.

He is also keen to take a lead from the likes of veteran team-mates Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville and help shape the club’s stars of the future.

He said ‘I’ve always made it aware that I wanted to stay at this club. I had my concerns and voiced my opinion but it went from there.

‘At the end of the day I’m delighted to have signed a new deal at United.

‘I’ve said it before my long-term future is here at United. I want to help the younger players in the way Giggsy, Scholesy and Neville have helped me. I want to help to continue to make this club a success which is my main aim at Man United.’