Wayne Rooney publicly states he's staying at Manchester United

Thursday February 23rd, 2017

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is going nowhere, for the time being at least.

In a statement addressing his future amid interest from Chinese Super League clubs, Rooney said on Thursday he wanted to help United in its fight for trophies this season.

"It's an exciting time at the club," the striker said, "and I want to remain a part of it."

Rooney, who recently took over from Bobby Charlton as United's record scorer, is no longer a regular in the first team in his 13th year at the English Premier League club. He has scored just twice in the league.

Rooney has 18 months left on his contract.

"Despite the interest which has been shown from other clubs, for which I'm grateful," the 31-year-old Rooney said, "I want to end recent speculation and say that I am staying at Manchester United."

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United faces Southampton in the English League Cup final on Sunday, has advanced to the last 16 of the Europa League, quarterfinals of the FA Cup, and is in sixth place in the Premier League.

United manager Jose Mourinho said on Tuesday that he was not looking to force Rooney out of the club, saying the striker was a "legend" at Old Trafford.

Rooney has also been linked with a move to Major League Soccer in the United States, while Everton manager Ronald Koeman has previously said he would be interested in bringing the England captain back to Goodison Park, where Rooney started his professional career.

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