LONDON: Manchester United are set to begin negotiations with Wayne Rooney on a lucrative new contract, even though the England striker still has two years to run on his current agreement.
United chief executive David Gill announced his plans after confirming Serbian defender Nemanja Vidic had agreed a new "long-term" contract of his own.
"The current intention is to meet with Wayne and his advisors when we`re back from tour (in the USA) and he`s back from holiday with a view to sorting out a new deal for him," Gill told www.mutv.com.
"It`s clear from what he has said and what the club have said that both parties are very keen to sort things out and secure his long-term future at United.
"Given his desires and what he means to the club we`re very confident that can be achieved."
Rooney scored 34 goals for United last season and will be a key factor in Sir Alex Ferguson`s campaign to snatch the title back from Chelsea when the new season starts on August 14.
Vidic had repeatedly been linked with a move away from Old Trafford over the last 12 months and it was reported that Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho was ready to launch a bid to sign the Serbian.
But United`s offer of an improved contract has persuaded Vidic to commit his future to Old Trafford.
Vidic`s current deal has two years to run and it is believed United don`t usually negotiate new contracts until there is only one year left, but that rule has been changed to keep the centre-back happy.
"There was a lot of speculation about Nemanja`s future, but in my view it`s been the media drumming some old stories because they certainly didn`t come out of the Manchester United camp and I`m confident they didn`t come out of Nemanja`s camp," Gill said.
"We sat down with Nemanja and his advisor at the end of last season and started discussions.
"They broke up when Nemanja went away to the World Cup, but resumed when Serbia were knocked out and I`m very pleased to confirm that we agreed terms with Nemanja three or four weeks ago on a new long-term deal with the club.
"It`s yet to be signed - the paperwork is now being sorted by our lawyers and being checked by Nemanja`s advisors."
BDST: 1454hrs, July 24, 2010