Manchester United manager David Moyes plans to take things “step by step” over Wayne Rooney’s long-term future.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Rooney has scored three times in two games ahead of Sunday’s Manchester derby, becoming only the fourth player to hit 200 goals for United.
The striker, 27, stayed at Old Trafford despite indications over the summer that he wanted to leave.
Asked if a contract extension was a possibility for Rooney, Moyes said: “I think we just go step by step.”
Rooney, whose current United deal expires in 2015, missed England’s recent World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine after suffering a bad gash to the head in training.
He returned to action with a goal from a free-kick in last Saturday’s 2-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace, then struck twice on Tuesday as Bayer Leverkusen were beaten 4-2 in the Champions League.
Moyes added: “If he could score another two goals at the weekend, that would be the next step forward, wouldn’t it?
“He’s played really well and we want him to maintain that. If anything, I’m asking him to step up again. I want him to keep getting better.”
Moyes faces his first Manchester derby as a manager at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, having experienced all-Merseyside clashes during his 11 years in charge at Everton and Old Firm meetings as a player with Celtic.
“There is an excitement for any derbies in any big city in the world,” he said.
“I’ve experienced derby games in Glasgow and on Merseyside. They are all really important to your own supporters.
“They are important to the players as well but ultimately it’s about what happens come the end of the season and how many points you get together to see who is top.”
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is also making a derby debut, although he has faced Moyes before, as manager of the Villarreal side who beat Everton in a two-legged Champions League play-off in 2005.
Pellegrini said: “I don’t need to be here to know how important the derby is, but working here and living here I know it is a special game.”
The City manager is hopeful playmaker David Silva will be fit after missing two games with a thigh injury sustained on international duty with Spain.