Wayne Rooney, while admitting that Manchester United looks unlikely to repeat as Barclays Premier League Champions this season, said in an interview aired Sunday that he hopes to top Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 249 goals with the club.
While Rooney demurred on talking about the upcoming end of his contract with Manchester United, his statement gave the once-powerful club’s fans hope that their star striker would not flee for more lucrative pastures at the end of next season, when he would become a free agent.
Chelsea made two futile attempts to pry Wayne Rooney away from Old Trafford during the recently closed January transfer window. Rooney has also been linked in the press with a blockbuster move to Real Madrid, but the Spanish titan has so far denied any interest in the England standout.
Rooney also said the club has lowered its sights after its so-far disappointing run this season, now simply aiming to get back into a Champions League qualifying slot.
“Realistically, top four has got to be our aim,” Wayne Rooney told the BBC’s Football Focus. “Although we always want to win the league title, maybe it’s a bit too far. We know it’s going to be extremely difficult to win the title.”
Manchester United failed to help its cause for a Champions League berth Sunday, conceding a dramatic, injury-time goal by Fulham’s Darren Bent that sent the Red Devils off with a discouraging 2-2 draw at home against the cellar-dwelling London club.
The draw left Wayne Rooney’s side mired in 7th place in the Barclays Premier League table, nine points off the pace of 4th-place Liverpool, who now occupy the final Champions League qualifying spot, and 15 behind table-topping Chelsea with 13 games left to play.
Wayne Rooney did not score in the match, leaving him with 208 goals in his Manchester United career, which began in August of 2004. Charlton tallied 249 goals for the club. Unless he can score 42 goals by the end of the 2014/15 season, Rooney would need to sign a new contract with Manchester United to achieve his ambition.
“It is a great aim for myself to try and get Sir Bobby’s record, both at club and international level,” said Rooney. “It is something which I would like to do. If I can do that I would be really proud because it has stood for a long time.”
Rooney also took some ribbing on line for his new haircut, on display during the BBC interview. Check it out.
Fans on Twitter were quick to note the similairities between the new Wayne Rooney look, and the hairstyle sported by Jim Carrey in the 1994 comedy classic (of sorts), Dumb and Dumber.