Rooney's volte-face

Wayne Rooney has decided to sign a new five-year contract with Manchester United, in one of the most ridiculous turnarounds in the history of sport. Only a few days ago the England centre forward said that he wanted to leave, with even Alex Ferguson explaining the whole story to the country’s sweaty football hacks.

There were fears that Rooney would move across Manchester to play for Manchester City, with officials at Eastlands convinced that they were going to get their man, but after negotiations between Rooney, his agent Paul Stretford and the club, he has put pen to paper on a deal that is thought to be worth £180,000 a week. Rooney says that he wants to get the fans back onside, but his decision to re-sign, after revealing that he thought that United were in danger of stagnating, could make them think that he was only after more money all along.

‘I'm delighted to sign another deal at United,’ he said in a statement. ‘I've spoken to the manager and the owners and they've convinced me this where I belong.

‘I am signing a new deal in the absolute belief that the management, coaching staff, board and owners are totally committed to making sure United maintains its proud winning history - which is the reason I joined the club in the first place.

‘I am sure the fans over the last week have felt let down by what they have read and seen. But my position was from concern over the future. The fans have been brilliant with me since I arrived and it's up to me through my performances to win them over again.’

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