Football: Everton's increased interest in Rooney

Wayne Rooney's Manchester United career could be drawing to a close, with Everton reportedly keen on re-signing their former academy graduate. It remains to be seen if the forward is included in the Red Devils' pre-season tour of the US, which starts
Wayne Rooney's Manchester United career could be drawing to a close, with Everton reportedly keen on re-signing their former academy graduate. It remains to be seen if the forward is included in the Red Devils' pre-season tour of the US, which starts on Sunday.PHOTO: REUTERS

Lacazette moves to Arsenal for undisclosed fee; Rooney may be set for homecoming

LONDON • Wayne Rooney is in advanced talks with Everton about rejoining his boyhood football team.

The England international has a year left on his contract at Manchester United, but has seen his playing opportunities limited under manager Jose Mourinho.

Last season, the 31-year-old started only 15 Premier League matches and there has been talk that he wants to move away from Old Trafford.

The potential move to Everton will centre on the Merseyside club matching the £250,000-a-week ($446,043) basic salary he earns at United.

Everton, who have become Europe's heaviest spenders this transfer window by investing more than £80 million in new players, are aware that Rooney has previously stated they are the only Premier League side he would leave United for and they believe this strengthens their position.

Rooney's only other option appears to be a move to Major League Soccer in the United States, where he could not earn as much, with interest from China fading.

United are due to fly to Los Angeles on Sunday to start their five-match pre-season US tour.

  • ARSENAL'S BIGGEST BUYS

  • £42.5 million* (2013)

    Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid

  • £35m (2016)

    Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach

  • £35m (2016)

    Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia

  • £32m (2014)

    Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona

  • *£1 = S$1.79

If the transfer is not completed by then, it remains in the balance whether Rooney will be in Mourinho's squad for the trip.

United could demand a transfer fee from Everton, but because Rooney's salary costs the club a minimum of £13 million a year, Ed Woodward, the club's executive vice-chairman, may waive any sum or agree to a reduced amount to offload the forward.

If Rooney does depart, it will close a 13-year spell at United that has been supremely successful.

The striker signed from Everton in August 2004 and has since won five Premier Leagues, the Champions League, the FA Cup, three League Cups, the Europa League and the World Club Cup.

He is also United's record scorer with 253 goals.

Yesterday, Arsenal announced the signing of Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon for an undisclosed fee with British media reports putting the deal at £44m - eclipsing Mesut Ozil as Arsenal's most expensive signing.

Ozil joined from Real Madrid in 2013 for £42.5 million.

The 26-year-old forward, who has 11 France caps, agreed a long-term contract with the Gunners.

Lacazette scored 28 goals to finish as the second-highest scorer in Ligue 1 last season - making him the first player to score more than 20 league goals in three consecutive seasons in France since Jean-Pierre Papin in 1991.

His arrival is likely to lead to the departure of Olivier Giroud, his France team-mate, despite the Arsenal striker claiming that he has unfinished business at the club.

Everton, West Ham, Lyon and Marseille want Giroud.

Arsenal will hope Lacazette can also compensate for Alexis Sanchez's goals and assists if the Chile international striker leaves.

Bayern Munich have ruled themselves out of the chase to sign him as they will not meet Sanchez's current wage demand of £300,000 a week.

That leaves Manchester City as the main club interested in the Gunners forward.

THE GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2017, with the headline 'Everton's increased interest in Rooney'. Print Edition | Subscribe