LONDON: Wayne Rooney said Thursday he was staying with Manchester United following persistent speculation he could make a lucrative move to the Chinese Super League.
British media reports said Rooney’s agent, Paul Stretford, had been in China speaking to interested clubs but the United and England captain insisted he was remaining at Old Trafford.
“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,” the 31-year-old Rooney said in a statement released to Britain’s Press Association.
“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.”
Speculation over the experienced forward’s future has intensified in recent weeks with Rooney, whose current United contract runs until mid-2018, often sidelined by manager Jose Mourinho.
Chinese clubs said to be interested in Rooney, United’s all-time leading scorer, included Guangzhou Evergrande, Beijing Guoan, Jiangsu Suning and Tianjin Quanjian.
British media had reported that he could earn up to $1 million a week, making him the world’s best paid player, but Rooney’s statement has at least ended the debate over his future ahead of the closure of the CSL transfer window next Tuesday.