LONDON - Wayne Rooney pledged his long-term future to Manchester United on Friday after signing a blockbuster contract extension with the Premier League champions.
Rooney had just 18 months left on his previous deal and was a transfer target for Chelsea last year, sparking speculation he could leave at the end of this season, but the England striker has agreed to prolong his stay at Old Trafford until June 2019.
The new contract will reportedly pay the 28-year-old STG300,000 ($F937,079) a week, with Rooney also set to stay at United as a club ambassador when he retires.
"Wayne Rooney has committed his future to Manchester United by signing a four-year contract extension, keeping him at the club until June 2019," a statement on United's website said.
Rooney, who had confirmed the news on his Twitter feed just before United's official announcement, admitted he was delighted to have finally signed the deal.
The former Everton star also said he was relishing the opportunity to inspire the next generation of United players in his role as one of the team's senior figures.
"I am made up to be staying at United. In August, I will have been at the club for 10 years and during that time I have played with some fantastic players and won everything that I hoped I would when I first signed," he said.
United manager David Moyes, who gave Rooney his professional debut during their time at Everton, was relieved to secure his striker's future and confirmed that several clubs had chased Rooney since he took over from Alex Ferguson last year.
Ferguson had revealed last season that Rooney asked for a transfer following a lengthy spell as a bit-part player under the Scot, who was said to be unhappy with Rooney's failure to keep himself match-fit.
That was the second time Rooney had apparently fallen out of love with life at United.
He also asked for a transfer and publicly questioned whether the club could match his ambitions in 2010, before changing his mind.
"I am thrilled that we have got Wayne Rooney to stay," Moyes said.
Rooney's decision to stay is a major boost for a club enduring their worst season for years.
Moyes has been unable to make a smooth transition from the Ferguson era, despite taking over a team which finished as English champions last season.
United are currently languishing in seventh place, 15 points behind leaders Chelsea and 11 adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool.