Wayne Rooney: Manchester United striker staying after links with China

England captain Wayne Rooney says he is staying at Manchester United, after being linked with a move to China.

The 31-year-old striker said he hoped to "play a full part" in the rest of the Premier League club's season.

United boss Jose Mourinho had refused to rule out the prospect of Rooney's exit this month, although a deal before the Chinese transfer window closes on 28 February was always unlikely.

"It's an exciting time at the club and I want to remain a part," said Rooney.

Rooney's agent, Paul Stretford, had travelled to China to see if he could negotiate a deal, although it is not known which clubs he spoke to.

Two of the three clubs who looked the most likely options - Beijing Guoan and Jiangsu Suning - dismissed speculation about a transfer.

Rooney's representatives had already spoken to the third option - Tianjin Quanjian - but their coach, Fabio Cannavaro, said talks did not progress.

Rooney is United's record goalscorer and has won five Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy since joining them as an 18-year-old for £27m from Everton in 2004.

The forward, whose contract expires in 2019, has said he would not play for an English club other than United or Everton.

United are sixth in the Premier League and remain in three cup competitions, having reached the last 16 of the Europa League on Wednesday.

They face Southampton in the EFL Cup final on Sunday before taking on Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals on 13 March.

Rooney's statement in full

"Despite the interest which has been shown from other clubs, for which I'm grateful, I want to end recent speculation and say that I am staying at Manchester United.

"I hope I will play a full part in helping the team in its fight for success on four fronts.

"It's an exciting time at the club and I want to remain a part of it."

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney is also England's record goalscorer, with 53 in 119 appearances

Analysis

Simon Stone, BBC Sport

Rooney's statement settles his short-term future but does nothing to address long-term issues over his future.

Rooney has only started eight Premier League games this season - fewer than Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan - and has featured only three times since breaking United's goalscoring record at Stoke last month.

He remains committed to United and ideally would stay at Old Trafford.

However, should he not play regularly between now and the end of the season, he would explore other options.

These would include Major League Soccer, as well as China. It is understood his previous statement, that he would only play for United or Everton in the Premier League, still stands.

Interest from China is genuine but despite long-time adviser Paul Stretford travelling to the country this week, there was never any realistic possibility of completing a deal before Tuesday's Chinese Super League transfer deadline.

A summer departure?

Rooney has scored five goals in 29 appearances for the Red Devils this season, but has started only three games since 17 December and may yet leave in the summer.

Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says Rooney would be an "ideal" signing for United's Premier League rivals Arsenal.

"Arsenal lack somebody like Rooney - a winner, a leader," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"He could easily go into somewhere like Arsenal and get a few of their players by the scruff of the neck on the pitch and improve their performances."

Redknapp, who was speaking before Rooney's announcement, also suggested the player could make "a dream move" back to Everton.

But Rooney's former team-mate Phil Neville said the striker "shouldn't write off his United career" and he could not see him moving to China.

Rooney in numbers

Top Stories