Wayne Rooney will remain a Manchester United player this season after deciding on Tuesday not to submit a transfer request.
The forward will also be offered the chance to extend his contract at the club before the end of the year if he continues to show his commitment following a summer-long flirtation with Chelsea.
David Moyes appears to have won his first significant battle as United manager by thwarting Jose -Mourinho's attempts to lure Rooney to Chelsea after the player, the subject of two unsuccessful bids from -Stam-ford Bridge this summer, chose not to make public his desire to leave ahead of the transfer deadline next -Monday. Mourinho had claimed following Chelsea's 0-0 draw with United on Monday that Rooney, who produced a man-of-the-match performance for Moyes's team, had "48 hours" to demand a move or he would risk the London club ending their interest to pursue other targets, namely the Anzhi Makhachkala forward Samuel Eto'o. With Rooney spurning the opportunity to invite Chelsea to make a third bid, it remains to be seen whether Mourinho will risk further disappointment by sanctioning another attempt to break United's resolve.
Sources close to Chelsea, however, suggest that Mourinho is resigned to missing out on Rooney, with the club now in advanced negotiations with Eto'o over a 2 million pounds transfer.
Having informed Moyes that he would not be lodging a formal bid to leave the club, Rooney is nonetheless understood also to have made it clear that his 'issues' with United remain unresolved - largely the continuing presence, as a director, of former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, whose relationship with the player broke down last season. With United successfully repelling Chelsea's advances,
The Daily Telegraph understands that plans are in place to open negotiations with Rooney and his advisers over a contract extension before the new year. Having focused on player recruitment and fending off Chelsea's -interest in Rooney this summer, United chief executive Ed Woodward is keen to address player contracts in late autumn, with Rooney, Nemanja Vidic and Nani due to be the priorities. Vidic, the United captain, and -Portuguese winger Nani have less than 12 months remaining on their deals at Old Trafford, while Rooney's pounds 250,000-a-week contract is not due to expire until the summer of 2015.
Although Woodward insisted in July that no 'trigger date' had been identified for discussions over -Rooney's contract, the prospect of talks this autumn was raised with the player's camp by United earlier this summer. Despite Rooney's discontent this summer and his efforts to move elsewhere, United regard the player as a key asset and attempts will be made by the club to negotiate a contract extension which would tie the 27-year-old to the champions beyond his 30th birthday. Moyes will retain the final say on Rooney's future at Old Trafford, but the former Everton manager has impressed the United hierarchy with his management of the player this summer. Rooney himself is known to have a good relationship with the man who handed him his debut as a 16-year-old at Goodison Park.
Following Rooney's claim to have been left "angry and confused" by comments attributed to Moyes last month, suggesting he had become a second choice to Robin van Persie, the pair have since cleared the air, with the player accepting that the manager had been misrepresented. There is an acceptance at Old Trafford, however, that Rooney may yet choose to reject talks over a new deal and explore the possibility of running down his contract in order to leave as a free agent in 2015. Should that be the case, Manchester United's owners, the Glazer family, would be more likely to -consider the player's sale next -summer in order to secure some resale value, particularly if Rooney were to enjoy a successful World Cup finals in the event of England qualifying for Brazil 2014.
Despite Rooney's decision not to antagonise United, Moyes and the supporters by submitting a written transfer request, it is understood that he retains a sense of disillusionment with the club. It has been made clear that Rooney has not, and will not, formally ask for a transfer, with the player keen not to disrespect the club by doing so. While Rooney has insisted privately that his issues with -Ferguson would not affect his professionalism, the fractured relationship between the two men could yet prove an -insurmountable issue for Rooney. Rooney was angered by Ferguson's treatment of him last season, with repeated comments about his fitness preceding the player being dropped for the Champions League second-round tie against Real Madrid. Ferguson's subsequent claim that Rooney had told him he wanted to leave was also disputed by the player, who believed that the Scot had -wilfully attempted to damage beyond repair his relationship with the United supporters.
The United fans have instead given Rooney their backing this season, with the England forward applauded, and his name chanted, during the games against Swansea City and Chelsea this month. With Ferguson still recuperating from hip surgery, the two men have not met since the start of the season, but the 71-year-old's presence in the directors' box could yet lead to Rooney renewing his attempts to leave next summer. Meanwhile, having missed out on Rooney, Chelsea are expected to complete the signing of Anzhi midfielder Willian subject to a successful appeal for a work permit today.
The Daily Telegraph Striker's tortured Year Aug 31, 2012 Sir Alex Ferguson raises doubts over Rooney's fitness after naming him as a substitute for a match at Fulham. "Wayne is behind the rest," he says. Dec 26 Rooney says he has no complaints after being substituted in a poor performance at Swansea. "Things weren't right," he says. March 5, 2013 Rooney is dropped for United's Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid. "Can't believe @WayneRooney isn't starting," tweets wife Coleen. March 6 The media is awash with reports that Rooney will be on his way out of Old Trafford as Ferguson prepares for a future without the England striker. May 12 Ferguson announces after United's 2-1 defeat of Swansea City that Rooney had handed in a transfer request. May 14 Rooney is jeered by a section of fans at United's Premier League trophy presentation and parade. July 13 New United manager David Moyes indicates that Rooney is no longer an automatic pick as centre-forward. July 16 Rooney is said to be "angry and confused" and believes his future at Old Trafford is "bleak".
July 17 United reject Chelsea's opening bid of pounds 20?million for the England forward. Aug 5 United prepare a special poster (below) for Rooney's return in a friendly in Stockholm - but he pulls out of the trip. United reject a pounds 30?million bid from Chelsea. Aug 26 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says Rooney has 48 hours to decide his future after starring in the 0-0 draw between the two sides. Aug 27 Rooney is set to remain at Old Trafford after saying he will not submit transfer request.