Wayne Rooney said once again yesterday that he had no desire to leave Manchester United as more reports surfaced that Barcelona and Real Madrid will try to take advantage of the financial situation at Old Trafford to prise the player away.
Rooney was talking at a Nike launch at the Lowry hotel in Manchester where he was asked about his new contract: he said he was happy at the club. His current deal runs to 2012 and there is the suggestion that he will not renegotiate until after the World Cup finals this summer.
At the very least, Rooney, 24, would expect to be the club's highest earner although wages of £150,000-a-week are certain to stretch United's wage structure. While United have no reason not to believe Rooney when he says that he wants to stay, they are aware that he is in a powerful bargaining position.
Rooney also made a peace gesture with his former club Everton by granting an interview to their in-house TV station after the hostilities following his move away.