Anguished Wayne Rooney
has put contract talks to make him one of the highest paid players in the Premier League on hold as he bids to save his marriage. The United striker and his wife Coleen, reacting for the first time to the allegations the England star had sex with a prostitute, have pleaded for privacy as they try to save their marriage. The last six days have been extremely painful for us and for our families, said a statement released by the superstar couple. It is impossible for us, as it would be for any family, to attempt to resolve any issues in the current media glare and against the backdrop of so many inaccurate and intrusive stories. We would therefore ask that the media now respects our privacy and the right of our family to discuss these matters in private. The statement indicates the pair are trying to patch things up, although it is understood the couple haven't seen each other since Rooney returned to their mansion in Cheshire following England's win over Switzerland on Tuesday night with Coleen staying at her parents on Merseyside. And as the couple battle to save their relationship Rooney, who still has two years left on his Old Trafford deal, will now put his contract talks on the back-burner. In-depth negotiations over a new multi-million pound deal were postponed at the end of last season in order for the striker to concentrate on the World Cup with England. Now the sordid allegations over his private life have delayed the talks even further. A new five-year deal worth around £150,000-a-week, which would make 24-year-old Rooney the highest earner at United, is believed to be on offer. But the scandal, which has rocked the game, has stopped proposed talks in their tracks. Meanwhile Reds boss Sir Alex Ferguson has refused to talk about his star player. Let's put it to bed straightaway, he said. I am not discussing any of my players' personal lives.