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On this day in 2017: Wayne Rooney commits to Man Utd stay amid China speculation

Wayne Rooney
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Wayne Rooney announced he would remain at Manchester United until the end of the season on this day in 2017 amid speculation he was planning a move to China.

Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford had travelled to China for preliminary talks, with three clubs – Beijing Guoan, Jiangsu Suning and Tianjin Quanjian – reported to have been possible destinations.

But the United and England captain, then 31, whose Red Devils contract was not due to expire until 2019, opted to remain at Old Trafford for the rest of the 2016/17 season.

Rooney and son Kit after his final Premier League game for Manchester United against Crystal Palace in 2017

Rooney and son Kit after his final Premier League game for Manchester United against Crystal Palace in 2017 (Martin Rickett/PA)

He said in a statement: “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.

“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.”

His transfer to Everton was announced the following July when he returned to his first club for an undisclosed fee, 13 years after leaving them for United.

When announcing his decision to stay at United, Rooney had made only eight Premier League starts that season and had made only three appearances since breaking the club’s goalscoring record the previous month.

Rooney, left, alongside Sir Bobby Charlton during his trophy presentation for becoming Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer

Rooney, left, alongside Sir Bobby Charlton during his trophy presentation for becoming Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer (Martin Rickett/PA)

He surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton’s landmark of 249 goals, scored between 1956 and 1973, when lashing home a stoppage-time free-kick to rescue a point for United in a 1-1 draw at Stoke.

Rooney went on to make a total of 559 appearances in all competitions for United, scoring 253 goals, before signing a two-year deal with Everton.

The current Derby boss won five Premier League titles, the Champions League, Europa League and the FA Cup during his spell at Old Trafford having signed from Everton for £27million in 2004.

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