Friday Kickoff: Rooney agrees to new deal; Real Madrid linked with Courtois; and more

Friday Kickoff: Rooney agrees to new deal; Real Madrid linked with Courtois; and more

South American Soccer

Friday Kickoff: Rooney agrees to new deal; Real Madrid linked with Courtois; and more

WayneRooneyManUnited2-WestHamUnitedEPL2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Wayne Rooney is ready to pledge his future to Manchester United.

Multiple outlets in England are reporting that the 28-year-old forward has agreed to sign a new contract through June 2019, a major coup for the defending English Premier League champions. The reports state that Rooney will make nearly $500,000 per week, or $26 million per season. Rooney’s current deal, which runs through the end of next season, reportedly paid him around $21.5 million per year.

Rooney’s decision to renew with Man United comes as a surprise after he looked unhappy at the club and submitted a transfer request to Sir Alex Ferguson before the end of last season. Last summer, Rooney nearly moved to Chelsea but instead new manager David Moyes was able to hold onto the England international.

Though he’s signing a major deal, Rooney has not played at his best for the last two seasons. This year, he’s struggled with injury and inconsistency, scoring just nine goals in 21 Premier League appearances. In 2011 and 2012, Rooney scored 27 goals in the EPL and 34 in all competitions.

Here are some more stories to start your Friday:

MADRID INTERESTED IN COURTOIS

Once targeted by Barcelona, Thibaut Courtois is now being linked with the Blaugrana’s archrivals.

The Atletico Madrid goalkeeper, on loan from Chelsea, is currently being linked with a move to crosstown rival Real Madrid, according to reports in the Spanish press. According to a report in Diario AS, Real Madrid has even gone so far as to begin negotiations with Chelsea for the Belgian international.

Since moving from Genk to Atletico by way of Chelsea in 2011, Courtois has blossomed into one of the world’s best goalkeepers, and even with Diego Lopez and Iker Casillas on the squad, Madrid seems to be looking towards the future at a young goalkeeper with boatloads of potential.

This news could signal Iker Casillas’ eventual departure from the only club he has known. The Spanish national team starter has been relegated to starting only in cup matches since January 2013.

QUICK KICKS

Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino has called the transfer situation around Neymar “not normal” but said that it doesn’t seem to be affecting the player on the field. (REPORT)

Chelsea is linked with signing 40-year-old Inter Milan legend Javier Zanetti this summer when his contract expires. (REPORT)

Paris Saint-Germain has signed Brazilian-born Italian international midfielder Thiago Motta to a contract extension through 2016. (REPORT)

Manchester City is continuing to be linked with Real Madrid midfielder Isco, who played under coach Manuel Pellegrini at Malaga. (REPORT)

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola compared the UEFA Champions League to a good meal at a nice restaurant, while calling the Bundesliga everyday food like hamburgers and pizza. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you think that Rooney is worth that kind of money? Did Man United have to overpay for him? Do you see Courtois moving to Real Madrid this summer?

Share your thoughts below.

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