DEAN KEATES wasn’t prepared to meet John Rooney’s wage demands and claims the midfielder had agreed a deal before asking for more money.
Keates has been in contract talks with Rooney but the 26-year-old younger brother of England and Manchester United captain Wayne has opted to join Guiseley on loan.
Rooney made his Guiseley debut last night and scored a late winner to secure a 2-1 win against Sutton.
“We have been in negotiations, we have tried to get it sorted, and in the end we gave him what he wanted to stay,” said Keates.
“I was under the impression that we had agreed.
“We got the contract written up and said it was ready to be signed last Wednesday, but it didn’t happen. Then the goalposts moved a little bit, and he asked for more. It was a case of we were not going to be held over a barrel.
“I am disappointed that we couldn’t come to some sort of agreement, the contract was there for him for next season.
“Eleven goals and he has done really well of late but it is football, we get on with it and go forward. No player is bigger than the club.”
Keates, who wanted to keep Rooney, was not looking to let him go out on loan but admits the situation had to be resolved one way or another.
“We knew there was interest and I was asked by his agent about a loan,” said Keates.
“If I am honest it is not something that I have even considered but if it has got to the point where we can’t agree anything, it is something I had to consider.
“Guiseley offered to pay his full wages up to the end of his contract, we accepted that so it is money that I am not going to carry forward and it is something I can add onto next season’s money.”
Rooney has made a big impact in his last three games as a substitute, scoring three goals in the back to back wins over Boreham Wood and Guiseley before setting up Jordan White for the equaliser in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Dover Athletic.
“You can’t question the lad’s character, he has been outstanding when he has come on and I wish him all the best for his career,” said Keates.
Keates is happy with his midfield options going into the final 13 games and is not looking to add to his squad.
“As it stands, replacing John is probably something I am not looking at,” added Keates. ”We have saved his wages and it might be a case of just keeping the money in the bank for next season.
“We will go with what we have got at the moment and go from that. We have got a squad of 19, there are options there in midfield already and we have got a couple of trialists in.”