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Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Friday, 22 October 2010 15:16 UK

How the Wayne Rooney saga unfolded

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney
Rooney's new deal is set to keep him at Old Trafford until at least June 2015

Wayne Rooney's decision to sign a new five-year contract at Manchester United on Friday represents an incredible turnaround after a week of dramatic twists, the like of which have not been seen at Old Trafford or any other club in recent times.

From the initial newspaper reports last Sunday that Rooney was on his way out, via Sir Alex Ferguson's memorable news conference, to the striker's statement which made his exit look inevitable, it is a story which has had the whole football world talking.

Here, BBC Sport charts how the 24-year-old went from seemingly burning his bridges at Old Trafford to being lauded by Ferguson for staying, all in less than a week.

Saturday 16 October

Following a week of claim and counter-claim about the state of his injured ankle, which Rooney insisted is fine, Ferguson leaves the forward on the bench for the home match against West Brom.

Things are made worse when United let a two-goal lead slip as the Baggies come back to draw 2-2, and home fans call for Rooney to be introduced although he cannot make a telling contribution when he is brought on for the final 20 minutes.

Watch highlights of Manchester United v West Brom

Sunday 17 October

Reports surface in the Sunday Mirror that suggest Rooney wants out of Old Trafford following disputes over the former Everton striker's ankle problem and the fall-out from allegations about his private life.

Monday 18 October

Every British newspaper and broadcaster has the story that Rooney is leaving the club after contract negotiations break down between his representatives and Manchester United chief executive David Gill.

Rooney's transfer value will plummet after the January transfer window as he enters the final year of his current contract, but United label reports of Rooney moving to Spanish giants Real Madrid as "nonsense".

Tuesday 19 October

The devastating news that Rooney wants to leave the club is confirmed when Ferguson delivers a landmark news conference ahead of his team's Champions League match against Bursaspor.

Ferguson confirms Rooney rumours in dramatic media conference

The United manager looks crestfallen as he spells out his shock and disappointment that his star player wants to leave the club he signed for in 2004 for £27m.

Ferguson says he is "dumbfounded" and does not know why he wants to depart, also revealing that Rooney's representatives first intimated that he came to the decision as far back as 14 August.

He states that the "door is still open" to sign a new deal but suggests his player has not treated the club with sufficient respect.

The situation is further complicated when Rooney suffers an ankle injury in training at United's training ground, ending any hopes he will play on Wednesday.

Wednesday 20 October

Speculation goes into overdrive as fans, players and the media ponder when Rooney will leave, where he will play next and why he really wants to walk out on one of the biggest clubs in the world.

Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka says he would welcome Rooney at Stamford Bridge, while Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini claims there has been no contact with the England forward. Meanwhile, Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho says he thinks the Liverpudlian will stay at Old Trafford.

Ferguson is keen to concentrate on Sunday's game with Stoke

In the hours before Manchester United's Champions League tie, Rooney issues a statement timed for maximum impact which outlines his reasons for leaving. "[David Gill] did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney said.

But he pays tribute to Ferguson, saying: "Despite recent difficulties, I know I will always owe Sir Alex a huge debt. He is a great manager and mentor who has helped and supported me from the day he signed me from Everton."

On the pitch, United labour to a 1-0 win over Bursarspor at a subdued Old Trafford, and after the game Ferguson says he wants to resolve the situation as soon as possible to avoid a saga, although it might be a bit late for that.

Responding to Rooney's statement, he also outlines why the club's future is in good health saying there are 14 first-team players under the age of 22.

Thursday 21 October

Rooney's future remains unclear as speculation mounts as to whether he has played his last game in a United shirt.

Holloway's rage against Rooney saga

Sensing the enormity of the situation, Manchester United issue a statement asking fans to be patient while meetings take place between Ferguson, Gill and Rooney's agent Paul Stretford. "The outcome of those meetings will become clear in the near future," the statement reads.

Meanwhile, thoughts of the club's demise are given short shrift by former United captain Roy Keane, while Blackpool boss Ian Holloway takes a swipe at Rooney, his agent and football authorities for allowing the player to "manufacture his own transfer".

Friday 22 October

On a morning when it is revealed angry fans have protested outside Rooney's home in Prestbury, United issue a bombshell statement announcing that the England star has signed a new-five year deal which will keep at the club until 2015.

Rooney states: "I said on Wednesday the manager's a genius and it's his belief and support that convinced me to stay," while Ferguson says that Rooney has apologised to him and his team-mates.

"I think Wayne now understands what a great club Manchester United is," Ferguson says. "I'm pleased he has accepted the challenge to guide the younger players and establish himself as one of United's great players."

Whether Rooney ever had any intention of leaving, or whether it was a massive ruse to engineer a better contract, only he and his representatives know.

But you cannot help thinking that the story, which has dominated the sports agenda for the past week, has demonstrated it is the modern player who really holds the power.

Now even a club like Manchester United are not exempt.



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see also
Rooney signs new Man Utd contract
22 Oct 10 |  Man Utd
Man Utd urge patience over Rooney
22 Oct 10 |  Man Utd
Man Utd 1-0 Bursaspor
20 Oct 10 |  Europe
Rooney intent on leaving Man Utd
20 Oct 10 |  Man Utd
Man City brush aside Rooney talk
20 Oct 10 |  Man Utd
Rooney wants to leave - Ferguson
19 Oct 10 |  Man Utd
Rooney 'will not sign new deal'
18 Oct 10 |  Man Utd
Man Utd 2-2 West Brom
16 Oct 10 |  Premier League
Rooney denies ankle injury claim
13 Oct 10 |  Man Utd


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