Wayne Rooney has pledged his future to Manchester United after widespread speculation he was set for a move to the riches of the Chinese Super League. The club captain has been heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford after falling down the pecking order under manager Jose Mourinho.
Hoping to play some part in United success
Mourinho himself said this week that he could not guarantee that Rooney would be a United player by the time the Chinese transfer window closes at the end of February, despite insisting last year that he would never sell the club's record goalscorer. But Rooney has now stated that - despite having received approaches from elsewhere - he has no desire to leave at this stage of the season, with United battling for four trophies.
"Despite the interest which has been shown from other clubs, for which I'm grateful, I want to end recent speculation and say that I am staying at Manchester United," he said in a statement published by the club's official website.
"I hope I will play a full part in helping the team in its fight for success on four fronts. It's an exciting time at the club and I want to remain a part of it."
Manchester bench rather than Tianjin talisman
Rooney has only managed eight starts in the Premier League this term, with Mourinho preferring Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the attacking positions. The 31-year-old has not played since coming on as a second-half substitute in the 0-0 draw with Hull City on February 1, although he has suffered from illness and minor injury worries in the last three weeks.
Fabio Cannavaro, the head coach of Tianjin Quanjian, has admitted that the club did make an enquiry over Rooney's availability but decided against a formal bid as the former Everton man was not considered suitable to their style of play.
Rooney, who has five goals and 10 assists in all competitions this term and surpassed Bobby Charlton as the club's top goalscorer with a stunning late free-kick against Stoke City, has been tipped to feature in Sunday's EFL Cup final against Southampton at Wembley given injuries to Mkhitaryan and Michael Carrick.
Clearly the speculation will begin again very soon about where the player will be at the start of next season...
- Diego Costa13Goals
*Update 23 de febrero de 2017