Wayne Rooney signed a four-year contract extension with English Premier League soccer champion Manchester United.
The England striker, 28, agreed on a deal that will keep him with the club through the 2019 season, United said in a statement on their website. His current contract was due to expire in 2015.
“Since becoming United manager in July last year, I have enjoyed working with him and seeing just how he has developed his incredible talent,” United coach David Moyes said in the team’s statement. “With his ability, his experience and his desire to succeed, he is a vital part of my plans for the future and I’m absolutely thrilled he has accepted the challenge.”
The club didn’t reveal financial details, although the British Broadcasting Corp. said Rooney will make close to 300,000 pounds ($500,000) a week, up from 250,000 pounds.
Rooney, who will spearhead England’s attack at this year’s World Cup in Brazil, joined United from boyhood club Everton in 2004 for a transfer fee of about 26 million pounds.
Rooney ranks fourth on United’s all-time scoring list, with 208 goals from 430 appearances. Bobby Charlton scored 249 goals, Dennis Law got 237 and Jack Rowley had 211.
“He is just 42 goals away from overtaking Sir Bobby as our record goalscorer and becoming the first United player to hit 250 goals,” Moyes said. “These opportunities only come to special players and I’m confident Wayne will set a new record that will take decades to reach.”
Rooney is the youngest player to reach 150 Premier League goals and has won five league titles with United. He also played in the 2008 Champions League final against Chelsea, which ended in a penalty-shootout victory for United, and was linked with a move to the Blues at the end of last season.
Record 20-time English league champion United has struggled this season under Moyes after Alex Ferguson retired following a 26-year tenure. Lying seventh in the league with 12 matches remaining, the team may miss out on the Champions League next season.
United plays at Crystal Palace today in the league before traveling to Greece for a Champions League round of 16 tie against Olympiacos on Feb. 25.
Owned by the U.S.-based Glazer family and listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Manchester United Plc (MANU) has seen its share price decline more than 16 percent since early December. Equity analyst Joseph Hovorka of Raymond James & Associates downgraded his rating of the stock on Feb. 14 to “market perform” from “outperform,” citing an “uptick in player wages” as his main concern.
Speaking during a financial presentation this month, United’s Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward signaled higher than usual player acquisitions at the end of this season in a bid to reverse the poor run of form.
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