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Wayne Rooney close to signing new deal

Wayne Rooney is expected to commit his future to Manchester United tomorrow by signing a new five-and-a-half year contract.

There had been some speculation about his intention to stay at Old Trafford following attempts made by Chelsea during the summer to take the forward to London, with his current contract expiring at the end of next season.

The 28-year-old has instead been in advanced negotiations with United and it is understood that Rooney has agreed in principle to many of the details in a new long-term contract. Those talks are expected to be concluded as early as tomorrow.

It is also understood that Rooney has been eager to extend his stay at Old Trafford, since he is happy at the club and has shown little desire to engineer a move away. That sense of satisfaction has endured both the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson as manager and also the team's lasting discomfort this season.

United are seventh in the Barclays Premier League - a full 11 points adrift of the top-four places - and appear unlikely to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since the 1995/96 season. There are just 12 league matches remaining for United to make up that ground.

Rooney, who signed from Everton in 2004 for a fee of £30m, is not without ambitions this season, though, since he has been widely tipped to replace Nemanja Vidic as the club captain when the defender leaves United at the end of this campaign.

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