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Rooney unwilling to extend contract

Manchester United's Wayne RooneyThe New Year might only be four days old but if the start is anything to go by, 2014 could be a very long 12 months as far as Manchester United are concerned, with bad news coming thick and fast.

Having suffered their fourth home defeat of the season against Spurs on Wednesday, United, who have to deal with a catastrophic amount of injuries ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup 3rd round against Swansea, have now been dealt a further blow, as different newspapers have reported that Wayne Rooney is unwilling to extend his contract until after the World Cup.

Rooney, who has entered the final 18 months of his contract, was twice subject of an offer from Chelsea last summer, when the United number 10 looked increasingly close to bring the curtain down on his United career, after describing himself as “angry and confused” at the way he had been treated by the club.

However, with Moyes replacing Sir Alex Ferguson in the dugout, Rooney seemed to have rediscover the form of old and has so far been United’s undisputed player of the season, his goals and assists proving every bit as crucial as his determination and work-rate across the park.

United had publicly stated that they would have no qualms in letting Rooney’s contract enter its final 18 months, but with David Moyes’ men all but out of the title race and a fourth spot finish five points away, the club could find itself in a very complicated situation in the summer.

“Well, we would have to wait and see what [would] happen if that situation arose,” admitted Moyes, whose stern refusal to sell Rooney last summer was arguably one his best choices since replacing Fergie.

The United manager, however, insisted Rooney is happy at Old Trafford. “I thought if you looked at his performances you’d have to say he’s certainly playing at his best.”

Unfortunately for Moyes and for United, though, years of appallingly poor transfer windows seem to have caught with the club and unless reinforcements are brought in over the next 27 days, United are in real danger of missing out on a Champions League spot and its financial benefits which could, in turn, prompt Rooney – and possibly others – to seek greener pastures elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the 28-year-old striker won’t be available against Swansea, after Moyes¬†admitted he played through the pain barrier with a groin injury.

“He’s got a groin injury and won’t be available for the game,” said Moyes, who also confirmed Ashley Young will miss tomorrow’s clash against Swansea after suffering a shoulder injury following a collision with Hugo Lloris on New Year’s Day.

“I don’t know how long it will keep him [Young] out but he won’t be available on Sunday,” Moyes said. “It looks as if it’s bad bruising at the moment.”

On the bright side, 2014 can only get better.