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Wayne Rooney’s new contract held up by image rights dispute

Stoke City v Manchester United - Premier League

during the Barclays premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester United at Britannia Stadium on February 1, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, England.

Laurence Griffiths

The $500,000 per-week contract we told you Wayne Rooney was set to receive this week is being held up by ongoing negotiations over his image rights.

While the salary and the captain’s armband both appear set to be coming Rooney’s way, the off-field payments and incentives have yet to be agreed upon. Nevertheless, the club remain convinced their star striker will imminently sign a new four and a-half year contract that will keep him at Old Trafford through his prime.

It’s believed Rooney’s camp is seeking to maintain a percentage of the 28-year-old to keep open the prospect of securing other lucrative commercial deals. United, however, hope to gain all of the image rights in exchange for the hefty salary, which will be the highest in the league and could land the striker around $116 million (£70M) over the course of the contract.

The new deal will represent the biggest coup of David Moyes’ tenure at Manchester United. Last summer the player looked set to be on his way out of Old Trafford after a well-publicized feud with Sir Alex Ferguson.

The former United manager infuriated Rooney by playing him out of position (in midfield) and dropping for him key matches (most notably the Champions League Round of 16 clash with Real Madrid). The demotion had many believing Rooney would seek an off-season move but the arrival of Moyes, who managed Rooney during his time at Everton, has proven a crucial link to keeping the star striker in United red.

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