Alyson Rudd says Manchester United panicked over Wayne Rooney's deal

Last Updated: 13/04/14 1:06pm

Wayne Rooney's lucrative new contract with Manchester United is a "great power clinging to their status on the decline" claimed The Times' Alyson Rudd on the Sunday Supplement.

The journalist claims that United have paid over the odds - believed to be in the region of £300,000 a week - to keep Rooney in an attempt to maintain their position amongst the world's top clubs despite their dwindling form.

"It's a lot of money just to say to the world 'we're scared of the alternative which is we finish outside the top four and maybe Rooney isn't happy here'," Rudd said.

However, The People's Steve Bates disagreed by saying Rooney's new contract is the "signing of the season".

"Eyebrows may be raised by the length of his contract which takes him to 33 on that huge money but there's no doubt United, at the moment, need the boost of that news," Bates said.

"I think if United had lost him and he refused to sign, and perhaps wanted to push a move through to Chelsea at the end of his contract, that would have been disastrous news for United.

"If you go back to last summer there were doubts about whether he'd re-sign.

"It's fair to say if Sir Alex Ferguson would have remained manager of Manchester United I don't think this contract story would have happened.

"David Moyes has done a brilliant job turning the situation around."

Statement

John Richardson of the Sunday Express echoed Bates' sentiments.

"Some people say it's panic, I say it's good business.

"It's proving to other players who may want to come to Manchester United 'here is the best player in the club and he wants to commit'.

"You'd have to pay a lot of money to replace him."

Bates concluded by confessing that Rooney was not solely motivated by on-field goings-on at Old Trafford.

"Contracts basically come down to one thing and that's money. Wayne Rooney is no different," Bates continued.

"I think he thought this would be the key contract that he's ever going to sign and he was determined to hang in there and demand the money

"I'm certain he would have got that money elsewhere."