x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Dubai break for Rooney and Coleen

The Manchester United and England football striker Wayne Rooney has arrived in Dubai with his wife Coleen.

DUBAI // The Manchester United and England football striker Wayne Rooney has arrived in Dubai with his wife Coleen. They checked into the Burj Al Arab hotel last night.

The player, who did not play in his team's 2-1 win at Stoke yesterday because of injury, has recently weathered a period of intense publicity with allegations that he solicited the services of a prostitute and then, last week, with a U-turn on an earlier decision to leaveManchester United. 

Rooney, who joined Manchester United in 2004 from his hometown team Everton, announced last Friday that he would stay with the team until 2015. It has been reported in the British media that his new contract is worth £250,000 (Dh1.4m) a week.

The news came just days after Rooney shocked fans - as well as his manager Alex Ferguson - by saying he wanted to leave United, because, he said, the club had failed to match his personal ambitions. 

After announcing the new contract, Rooney pledged his commitment to the team and fans. 

"It might take time, but I'll be giving the same as I always do - 100 per cent - and try to build the relationship back," he told MUTV, the team's TV channel. "My message is: I care for this club, I want to be here and I want to continue being successful at this club."

Ferguson said: "I think Wayne's had second thoughts and realised the enormity of Manchester United. He realises he has made a mistake and apologised. I admire that."

Manchester United have struggled with massive debt and concerns that they can no longer afford the top players. Rooney also faced criticism this summer for a disappointing performance with England at the summer World Cup in South Africa. Despite high expectations, the team won just once.

Rooney had been planning to hold a party at his home in Cheshire, England, to celebrate his 25th birthday yesterday, according to British media reports. Instead, his wife reportedly called the 100 or so guests to cancel the event.

In recent weeks, the couple have been grappling with allegations in the British media that Rooney hired a prostitute while Coleen was pregnant with their first child, Kai, who was born in November.

Soon afterwards the couple headed to Prague for a "second honeymoon".