Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney has revealed he will not leave his current club before the end of the season, despite interest from abroad.
Rooney surpassed club legend Sir Bobby Charlton as all-time top goalscorer for Man United in January, but persistent rumours have linked him with a February exit to the blossoming Chinese Super League, where his wages would likely be doubled.
Rooney commits future to Man United
Despite this interest, Rooney will remain at the club until at least the end of the season, though his future beyond then still remains uncertain.
In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, Rooney told Manchester United supporters that "despite the interest which has been shown from other clubs," he would like to "end recent speculation" and confirm that he is "staying at Manchester United". He did admit he was "grateful" for the recent interest shown by clubs in the Chinese Super League.
Chinese clubs showed interest in record goalscorer
Rooney is also England's top goalscorer of all time but has seen his role diminish in the national team set-up in recent months. A move to China would have effectively ended his career with his country, for whom he is seven caps away from becoming the most-capped player of all time, a record currently held by goalkeeper Peter Shilton.
The 31-year-old did not mention England playing a role in his decision. Instead, he said, “I hope I will play a full part in helping the team in its fight for success on four fronts."
Concluding, Rooney told the press that “it’s an exciting time at the club and I want to remain a part of it.”
While some Man United fans have long held reservations about Rooney's place at the club, particularly since the first of two alleged transfer requests, in 2010, others hail him as a legend. And while he cuts a divisive figure for fans, almost all will be more content seeing him end his career at the club on a high with a trophy and a good farewell rather than a late deal in the Chinese Super League transfer window.