Manchester United will reward England striker Wayne Rooney's impressive form at the start of the season with a new contract worth £52m over four years, according to The Sun.
The hitman has scored seven goals and made seven assists in 13 appearances for the Premier League champions this season after a summer in which he was subject to two bids from Chelsea amid speculation regarding his immediate future at Old Trafford.
But after seemingly settling his differences with new manager David Moyes Rooney has flourished this term and despite executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward suggesting the 28 year old's contract could be allowed to run down, United are expected to offer the forward a new deal.
In order to prevent Rooney entering the final year of his deal, which could expose the club to bids from foreign rivals, United will pledge to match his current wages of £250,000 over three additional years until 2018 and coupled with an array of incentives will bring to total package to £52m starting next season.
The new deal will retain Rooney's status as the highest paid English player in the Premier League and help cement his future at United over which uncertainty has grown since he first handed in a transfer request in 2010.
Rooney made a quick U-turn and signed a new contract but accusations were rife that the demand to the leave the club was used only as a bargaining chip in order to win a bumper new deal.
Paul Stretford, Rooney's current agent, is on the verge of securing a similarly huge contract which will keep the England international at United until the age of 32.
The impressive nature of Rooney's performances this season, particularly in the recent win over Premier League leaders Arsenal during which he set up Robin van Persie's winning goal and led the line in attack, has worked to further reinforce his commitment to United.
And a new deal will go a long way to cementing his relationship with supporters, even though the move would represent a U-turn by the Theatre of Dreams hierarchy after Woodward, who replaced David Gill as head of day-to-day operations at United in the summer, claimed the club wouldn't be concerned over running down the contracts of their high earners.
"There are no contract renewals that are being discussed. I am not sitting down with any player on an extension and there is no trigger date in the diary," said Woodward."Would we be afraid to run a contract down? Of course not."
Having also helped England qualify for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil next summer, Rooney is naturally delighted with his current form: "I've said all along that I just want to play football and I feel I've started the season well and scored a few goals and I'm creating chances for my team-mates too.
"I'm enjoying that and I want to put all my focus on trying to help the team get back towards the top of the table," Rooney said. "That's the aim for us all and if I can contribute to that then it'd be great."
Should Rooney's contract be extended the club will likely turn to negotiations over new deals for captain Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra - all of whom are out of contract in the summer - while the club await news over the future of Ryan Giggs who turns 40 later this month.