U-Turns are the topic this week in Now and Then

By Rebecca Coles. The Premier League may seem crazier than ever, but how do this week’s headlines compare to the previous seasons? Wayne Rooney's £300,000-a-week U-turn may seem shocking, but he's not the first player to suddenly realise the grass isn't necessarily greener elsewhere. In her blogs, Rebecca will run the rule over the weird and wonderful shape of the beautiful game.

“Overrated and overpaid?” “Don’t hate the game, hate the player!”

Yes, you guessed it, here are a few comments made about the new four-and-a-half-year deal worth around £300,000-a-week handed to the one and only Wayne Rooney.

I think we all have to admit this is an insane amount of money. However, if it were offered to one of us, would we turn it down? Of course not! Being paid £300,000-a-week to play football and the added incentive of possibly getting the captain’s armband in the future – Rooney is living the dream.

Rooney made a shock U-turn and agreed a new five-year contract just two days after announcing his intention to leave the club.

Rooney made a shock U-turn and agreed a new five-year contract just two days after announcing his intention to leave the club.

This isn’t the first time Rooney’s made a shock U-turn to stay at Manchester United amid rumours of him wanting to leave. In 2010, he demanded to walk after it came to light that Manchester City and Chelsea were interested, yet less than a week later he had signed a lucrative five-year contract based on a salary of £150,000-a-week.

But Rooney isn’t the only player to sign an extension this season, when a move seemed more likely. Luis Suarez became the highest paid player in Liverpool’s history back in December. Previous to him putting pen to paper, Suarez was the subject of £40million bid – and let’s not forget that added extra £1 – from Arsenal over the summer. But with the Gunners circling, Liverpool quickly handed Suarez a deal worth up to £10million a year – a staggering £200,000 a week.

Back in 2005, one of the longest-running transfer sagas dragged on when Jose Mourinho tried to lure Steven Gerrard to Chelsea with a £32million bid. Of course, it was rejected by Liverpool after the club’s fans went to extreme lengths to make their feelings known. Some even went as far as burning the shirt of the player who had become their hero over the years.

The England captain signed a two year contract extension in July 2013 - keeping him at the club until at least the end of the 2014/15 season.

The England captain signed a two year contract extension in July 2013 – keeping him at the club until at least the end of the 2014/15 season.

In the end, Gerrard made a swift U-turn and signed a new contract to stay at Anfield and become the first Premier League player to earn £100,000-a-week.

As usual, Mourinho has a lot to answer for after being involved with both the Gerrard and Rooney deals. Again though, his plans were thwarted. Not even shipping Juan Mata out to United could bring Rooney closer to Chelsea.

With Liverpool riding high at the top of the Premier League table, it’s clear that the decisions of Suarez and Gerrard to stay put have been key to their position this season. Rooney’s latest contract extension has caused the biggest public outcry ever known to football, but will him staying be enough to reenergize United? No pressure Wayne, but all eyes are on you until the end of the season.

What causes players to make U-turns like Suarez and Rooney? Is it money or is it simply rediscovered love of the club? Will there ever be another player that receives a £300,000-per-week contract deal in the Premier League?

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