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On This Day in 2010: Wayne Rooney makes U-turn with new Manchester United deal

Soccer – UEFA Champions League – Group C – Rangers v Manchester United – Ibrox
(Image credit: Lynne Cameron)

Wayne Rooney made a shock U-turn to sign a new five-year contract at Manchester United on this day in 2010.

Just two days earlier the United and England striker had announced his intention to quit Old Trafford in a bombshell statement in which he questioned the club’s ambition.

Rooney, then 24 and one of the biggest stars in the world game, had pointed the finger squarely at the club’s hierarchy as he stated he would not be signing a new deal following meetings with chief executive David Gill.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (left) had been shocked Rooney wanted to leave

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, left, had been shocked that Rooney wanted to leave (Anthony Devlin/PA)

“During those meetings in August I asked for assurances about the continued ability of the club to attract the top players in the world,” Rooney had said.

“I met with David Gill last week he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad. I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.”

Reports of Rooney’s dissatisfaction had been rumbling for a few days with a “dumbfounded” manager Sir Alex Ferguson having also confirmed the news fans had dreaded.

“We are as bemused as anyone can be, we can’t quite understand why he would want to leave,” the Scot said.

“I was dumbfounded. Only months before he was saying he was at the greatest club in the world.”

The news created big headlines and sparked a strong reaction. Around 30 protesters even gathered outside Rooney’s Cheshire home amid speculation rivals Manchester City were among the clubs keen to sign him.

Given the strength of Rooney’s statement, what happened two days later was unexpected and astonishing.

“I’m delighted to sign another deal at United,” said Rooney after further intense negotiations yielded the unlikely volte-face. “I’ve spoken to the manager and the owners and they’ve convinced me this is where I belong.”

Ferguson said: “I think Wayne now understands what a great club Manchester United is.”

Rooney, who had joined United from Everton in 2004, stayed at the club a further seven years and went on to become the club’s record scorer with 253 goals.