Jose Mourinho admits admiration for Wayne Rooney, as he eyes a new deal

Wayne Rooney and Jose Mourinho

Wayne Rooney has been tipped to have plenty more left in his locker by Jose Mourinho in the light of the current Manchester United and England captain’s testimonial. Furthermore, his agent Paul Stretford has insisted that the forward is hoping to stay at Old Trafford beyond his current contract which expires in 2019.

Rooney has scored 245 goals in a Manchester United shirt so far and is just four goals away from equalling Sir Bobby Charlton’s record, who is currently the clubs all-time top goal scorer. However, despite the Liverpool-born player winning countless trophies in a red shirt and providing Manchester United fans with some terrific moments over the years, including that tremendous overhead-kick against Manchester City, that strike at Upton Park from around the half way line and that humorous volley against Newcastle United when seconds before he was arguing with the referee, the new man at the helm at Old Trafford, Mourinho, insists there is still a lot more to come from the number ten.

“Wayne has been a wonderful servant to this great club over the last 12 years. He’s won virtually every trophy, including five Premier League titles and a Champions League medal. And I am sure he will provide many more memorable moments for United in the coming years at Old Trafford.”

The feeling among many United supporters is that the captain’s days at United are over and that the club should thank him for what has been a wonderful 12 years, for the most part, but move on. Although, the man who’s opinion matters the most, the manager’s, feels very differently and has admitted his admiration for the player when opening up about the times he attempted to take Rooney to his former club, Chelsea.

“I can say, because everybody knows, I tried to buy him, he is a player I always wanted to have in my side. Finally, I have him and I have him in the club he loves, the club where he has spent the best years of his career. And, I think, the best is yet to come from him.”

The 53-year-old who formerly managed Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid and Porto could not hide his joy when speaking about the 30-year-old who grew up in Croxteth and revealed that the younger players could take a lot from him.

“I find him full of motivation, full of joy to work every day, and happy to be here as a leader for the young people. He’s my man too. I can say, at this moment, he is my man. I am really happy.”

Despite some fan’s wishes and the forward reportedly requesting to leave twice during the 12 years he has spent at United, the man who is labelled ‘the White Pele’ in his song that is often sung from the Old Trafford terraces wants to remain at the club for some time longer, according to his agent.

“Wayne has gone public in stating he intends to see out his current contract. Should United make it clear they want him to stay beyond 2019, we’ll be sitting down very quickly and ensuring that can happen. The very best players, who perform at the highest level, will always be subject to speculation from the biggest and best clubs. Undoubtedly there has been speculation and undoubtedly there have been enquiries.

“But from Wayne’s point of view, he was determined to stay at Manchester United and agree new contracts. That is evident by the fact that he is still here going into his 13th year at the club.”

The debate as to whether Wayne Rooney is a club legend is never going to be settled, one way or another. It is clear not all football fans have short memories with some Red’s still holding the player’s requests to depart the club against him, despite being ever so close to becoming the club’s all-time top goalscorer. In my opinion, he has to be regarded as a club legend, his performances recently may not be to the quality that we expect from him, but for what he has achieved over the years at the club it would be silly not to. He may have wanted to leave, but the bottom line is – he never did. But can Rooney change the fact several United fans want him out?

That is a question that remains to be seen, it is clear Mourinho has a huge admiration and soft spot for the forward, however as we have witnessed with the likes of Iker Casillas and John Terry at past clubs, he is not afraid to show some ‘tough love’ – he will get dropped if his performances are under par. But then again, I feel if we can see even some signs of the Wayne Rooney of old, other than Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho is the only man who has a chance of getting even the slightest bit of that from him. When the Englishman is on form and in the mood, he can make a huge impact but it is true and nobody can deny the fact that sometimes he can be a hindrance, but it is about using him correctly and taking him out the picture when needs be, Louis van Gaal was somewhat afraid to do that, I am sure that Jose Mourinho will not be.

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