Wayne Rooney might still be the Manchester United captain but he will have to earn a new contract if he is to see out his career at Old Trafford.
His form has naturally been in decline over the last couple of years and a place in the starting XI is no longer guaranteed, for club or country.
The 30-year-old's current deal runs out in 2019 and there will be no sign of a new contract being offered for at least 18 months, according to The Sun.
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Rooney may have scored in the Red Devils' opening game of the season against Bournemouth on Saturday but the club's officials are going to wait and see if he can rekindle some of his previous form on a more consistent basis.
Understandably, based on performances over the last few years, the club will be reluctant to offer their first team captain an improved deal on his current £300,000-a-week salary.
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An unnamed source from within the club reportedly told The Sun: “Rooney is ready to end his playing days at United. He is presently contracted until the summer of 2019, but nothing is in the pipeline.
“It will be at least another 16 to 18 months or so before they even make a further look on an extension on that.”
Both club and country have tried to keep Rooney in their starting XI's by moving him into a deeper midfield role over the last eight months but Jose Mourinho has been adamant in playing the former Everton ace in the position where he has made his name since arriving at Old Trafford.
Gary Neville, who was among the England coaching staff during Euro 2016, believes the Man United manager is blocking Rooney's natural transition into a midfielder.
“He needs stability, with a club manager to stay with him for two or three years and say: ‘You’re going to play in that position, that’s where you’re going to play.’ And that might be what Jose Mourinho is actually looking at," Neville told Sky Sports.
“He’s been moved around three positions in the last two to three years he now needs to settle into that latter phase of his career position. He will continue to come deeper, it’s where he’s comfortable."
Paul Pogba's record breaking transfer back to the club has made the competition for places even harder and various pundits have predicted the Frenchman to replace Rooney in the team.
Rooney has certainly had plenty of challenges to overcome throughout his glittering career but earning a new contract to see out his playing days at Man United looks like it might be one of the toughest.
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