LONDON (AP) - Wayne Rooney committed his long-term future to Manchester United on Friday, signing a new contract until June 2019 that hands the struggling Premier League champion a major boost.
The 28-year-old striker's future at United has been mired in uncertainty since Chelsea tried to sign him last year, and he had only 18 months remaining on his current Old Trafford deal.
But Rooney ended all the speculation, signing a deal reportedly worth up to 300,000 pounds ($501,000) a week, despite facing the prospect of no Champions League football next season.
''It's not a massive concern for me,'' Rooney said on his personal website. ''This is because I know the direction that this club is going in, and if we don't make it this season then we will come back stronger and claim a Champions League spot next season.
''Let's not forget we still have a chance this year. Some of the other teams are playing well, but we have a strong squad here and if we have a positive end to the season then who knows what can happen.''
In the first season since David Moyes replaced Alex Ferguson, United is seventh in the league with 12 matches remaining.
Rooney has been at United since leaving an Everton side then managed by Moyes in 2004.
''I've been here since I was 18 and this contract will take me through to my 30s, which is almost my entire professional career,'' Rooney said. ''I've played most of my best football here and am looking forward to hopefully playing even better football in the next few years. I've had a lot of special moments and hope there are many more to come.''
Moyes is delighted to have prevented Rooney from joining a rival.
''Everyone would want him in their team,'' Moyes said. ''There were clubs who did want him. There were clubs who would have wanted him (had he not signed a new deal) but there was never going to be a chance he was going to leave Manchester United, certainly not on my watch.''
As part of the new contract, Rooney will become a club ambassador when his playing career ends. And already, he is central to the club's global marketing operation, as one of the team's most high-profile players.
''There was great belief in me from David Moyes, (vice chairman) Ed Woodward and the board, and also the Glazers. This made my decision a lot easier and I would like to thank them for that,'' Rooney said.
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