You must be delighted to have signed a new extended deal at Manchester United?
Yes I’m very happy to have signed a new long-term contract with Manchester United. This is one of the biggest clubs in the world and to know that I will be playing here for the majority of my career is something that I’m looking forward to. I’m happy that everything is now finalised and I can carry on concentrating on my football.
This new contract will see you staying at the club over 10 years, did you ever think that when you first signed you would be there so long?
I didn’t really know what was going to happen and wasn’t something that I really thought about at the time, I was just happy to have joined a massive club like Manchester United. The more I think about it 10 years is a long time, but when you’re enjoying your football at one of the biggest clubs in the world and are comfortable there then that’s what happens, we have seen this with the likes of Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand.
Some people will be surprised you signed a new contract due to the possibility that the club will not be in the Champions league next season, was this a factor?
I know that’s what some of the press thought but it’s not a massive concern for me. This is because I know the direction that this club is going in, and if we don’t make it this season then we will come back stronger and claim a Champions League spot next season. Let’s not forget we still have a chance this year, some of the other teams are playing well but we have a strong squad here and if we have a positive end to the season then who knows what can happen.
You have signed for a further 5 and a half years, does that mean you will stay at the club for virtually your entire top-flight career?
Yes, I’ve been here since I was 18 and this contract will take me through to my thirties, which is almost my entire professional career. I’ve played most of my best football here and am looking forward to hopefully playing even better football in the next few years. I’ve had a lot of special moments and hope there are many more to come.
You are currently 4th on the all time leading goal scoring record, this contract gives you the chance to pass Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 249, was that something that you focused on when deciding to stay?
No it wasn’t a factor in my decision to stay, but I do realize that this contract gives me the opportunity to achieve it. This is definitely something I would like to achieve and do think about more, if I managed to do it it’d be something I’d be very proud of. My aim is always to score and create as many goals as possible, so if I can continue to score regularly and break the record then I would be delighted.
Signing for Manchester United is a big statement of intent from the club about maintaining its status as one of world footballs leading clubs, how do you see the future for Manchester United?
The future is bright for Manchester United, this is still one of the worlds leading clubs, we have seen this with the signing of Juan Mata in January. People have been saying that we may have trouble attracting the world’s best players but I think the fact Mata came here shows this isn’t true. This is a new era for the club, we have a new management team and a great new manager in David Moyes, there has to be some time for change. We have some great players here and despite our recent form everyone has stuck together and the team spirit is still good, we will continue to work hard and get Manchester United to the top where it belongs.
Negotiations have obviously taken some time to complete and there have been lots of media speculation to what was going on, how do you feel talks went?
Well if you believe everything you read in the papers that’s because I have been demanding to be captain and want an input into the Club’s transfer policy (laughs) which is totally laughable and of course untrue. The talks have taken a while but that’s not unusual, it’s been a difficult time for the club and there has been a lot going on but the talks were positive from the start. There was great belief in me from David Moyes, Ed Woodward and the board, and also the Glazers, this made my decision a lot easier and I would like to thank them for that. My teammates also played a big part in my decision, I’d like to thank them for their support and look forward to working with them. Most importantly the fans have always supported me since I joined the club, through the good times and the bad times. They continued this support whilst the talks have been going on and I can’t thank them enough.
Do you have any message for the fans?
I’d just like to thank them for all their support since I joined the club and want to let them know that I appreciate it, I’m very happy to have signed a new contract and I’m looking forward to sharing many more special moments with them.