But United boss says new deal for star striker will get done
Manchester United manager says he knows of no immediate plans to reward Wayne Rooney’s fine form with the offer of a new contract.
Manchester United manager David Moyes says that he knows of no immediate plans to reward Wayne Rooney’s fine form with the offer of a new contract.
Rooney scored a brace as United twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday — his ninth and 10th goals in all competitions this season.
The England striker was reportedly on the verge of leaving Old Trafford during the offseason but has since rediscovered his best form to keep United within reach of most of the early-season pacesetters.
The 28- year- old’s current contract is due to expire at the end of next season, but Moyes said there is no pressing need to tie him to a new deal.
Asked when the club might look to open discussions with Rooney over his contract situation, Moyes replied: “I don’t really know. I think we’re fine, we’re just moving on from the summer.
“It’ll get done in due course and the appropriate people will talk when the time is right.”
A groin injury to Robin van Persie has obliged Moyes to recalibrate his attack in United’s last three games.
Rooney played alongside Javier Hernandez in last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Cardiff City, but he was fielded as a lone striker in both the 5-0 Champions League win at Bayer Leverkusen in mid-week and the draw at White Hart Lane.
Moyes was not able to offer an update on van Persie’s condition after the game at Tottenham, meaning that Rooney could be asked to lead the line alone again when his former club Everton visits United on Wednesday.
The defending champion also has concerns in central midfield.
With Michael Carrick injured and Ryan Giggs rested, Tom Cleverley was paired with Phil Jones against the Spurs, but they struggled to give United a presence in the game.
Moyes conceded that United lacked control in that area of the pitch but he stood by the players he selected.
“Recently the performances of Giggs and Carrick ( were important), so we were aware of that today ( Sunday),” he said.
“We knew that could be somewhere where we (could have problems). But we’ve got two England internationals and they’re both fine young players. One’s 21 and the other’s about 24 now, so they’re both good players.”
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas was in a foul mood after the game, clashing with a newspaper journalist in his post-match press conference and accusing former owner Alan Sugar of pursuing a “very driven agenda” after he questioned the Portuguese’s stewardship.
He also spoke out in defense of Spanish striker Roberto Soldado, who was replaced by Jermain Defoe in the 72nd minute after a fifth consecutive game without scoring.
“He works very hard for the team, he works his socks off,” said Villas-Boas, whose side scored through a Kyle Walker free kick and a stunning 20-yard shot by Sandro.
“Obviously strikers live off goals. It’s important for Soldado to start finding the back of the net.
“That’s why we’ve been very, very patient with him and we’ll continue to do just that.”
Villas- Boas, who saw his team thrashed 6-0 at Manchester City in its previous league outing, also played down British media reports linking Defoe with a January move to a Major League Soccer club.
“I’m extremely happy with Jermain Defoe’s performance,” he said.
“He came on today to try to help the team. He’s our top scorer right now in all competitions, so he has my support and I’m willing to keep him for the future.”
Tottenham’s next game is on Wednesday at London rival Fulham, which on Sunday dismissed manager Martin Jol after a run of five successive defeats.
Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring his second goal from the penalty spot during an English Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur in London on Sunday. The match ended in a 2-2 draw.