Rooney new contract: Keeping your best asset
If you really don’t want Rooney to stay at the club, I suggest you stop reading now and head over to Tom’s piece on the matter.
Many will agree with Tom and will refuse to accept the reasons why Manchester United have decided to give Wayne Rooney, more commonly known by haters as “The Evil Scouse Backstabber”, a new contract. However, I know there are some out there who will understand why the current Premier League champions, currently lying in 7th and 11 points behind 4th, want to keep one of their most important players.
Oliver Kay of The Times wrote on Twitter: “Will be hard for anyone to describe Rooney deal as a coup for #MUFC. £300k/week until June 2019? A statement of panic as much as intent” and it’s hard to disagree with him.
By the time this alleged new contract ends, Wayne Rooney will be approaching his 34th birthday and most certainly will have his best footballing years behind him. The thing is, looking that far ahead isn’t what Manchester United are doing. The club is looking at the present situation and trying to prepare as best it can for next season; one without Champions League.
The importance of keeping Wayne Rooney at the club stems from this very point. Without Champions League, Manchester United lose one of their most important selling points when trying to attract new players. This is why keeping your best players becomes twice as important. Imagine convince a midfielder like Vidal to join United without any Champions League. It’s not easy. Now imagine yourself trying to convince him to join without Champions League and without the promise that he will be playing alongside one of the best players in the league? It’s near impossible.
A lot of Manchester United fans may not see him as such, but the vast majority of the world do consider Rooney one of the best players in the world. As United fans, we are able to criticise him more than others as we watch him week in-week out, but to the rest of the footballing world who watch him sporadically, he’s up there.
Another potential reason why Manchester United are looking to keep Rooney is for financial reasons. Looking at the wages mentioned, this point may seem ridiculous, but bear with me. As pointed out by @AliquamScripto on Twitter, keeping Rooney at the club on £50k more per week only costs the club an extra £11.7m over the next 4.5 years. It may seem like a lot of money, but if United were to sell Rooney so close to the end of his contract, they would recuperate very little in terms of transfer fees.
If you do sell Rooney, you have to try and replace him with another striker. That is what Rooney is: a striker. No matter how much we try and convince ourselves otherwise. When trying to replace him, you have to consider what he offers. Very few strikers out there offer similar attributes to Rooney’s. One who springs to mind is Edinson Cavani, who @AliquamScripto uses as an example. Buying Cavani (for, let’s say, £50m) and offering him similar wages (example used was £250k/week) would cost the club somewhere along the lines of £105m over 4 years (or between £75-80m if you deduct selling Rooney for £20m next sumer & take into account the next 6 months of his contract). That’s a lot more money than the extra £11.7m we are giving Rooney.
Numbers aside, it remains clear for all to see that Rooney is one of the most important players at the club. If it weren’t for his form since the beginning of the season, Manchester United would be in a worst position in the Premier League than they are now.
As Oliver Kay says, this new contract is both an act of desperation and intent. Desperation because United are offering Rooney a lot of money in a bid to keep him and know that he is one of their main assets, but it also shows that they are not afraid to pay a lot of money to get (Mata) and keep their best players.
However, there is also the possibility that Rooney will sign a new contract, stay for an extra year or so and then be sold when he reaches the age of 30+. This new contract would allow Manchester United to recoup a bit more in terms of transfer fees than they would by selling him this summer.
If that is the case, then one might say it is a win-win situation for Rooney lovers and haters alike, but that would take all the fun out of arguing about it, wouldn’t it?