Thursday 22 March 2018

I want to bring Rooney back to Everton, admits Koeman

Ronald Koeman wants to bring Wayne Rooney back to Everton. Photo: PA
Ronald Koeman wants to bring Wayne Rooney back to Everton. Photo: PA

John Percy

Ronald Koeman has admitted that Everton are ready to offer Wayne Rooney an emotional return. The Toffees boss will step up his interest in the Manchester United forward at the end of the season, insisting the 31-year-old could become a key part of his Goodison Park revolution.

Rooney has rejected offers from China in order to stay with United for the rest of the season, but a future under Jose Mourinho appears unlikely. And Everton are weighing up a renewed move to take him back to Merseyside - nearly 13 years after he left for United in a £27 m deal.

"I believe Wayne Rooney is still playing at a high level," said the Everton manager. "I think he made a good choice to stay at Manchester United and in the Premier League because he still has two or three years to play on a high level.

"What will happen at the end of the season? I don't know, but in my opinion he is one of the players who can make Everton stronger."

Rooney came through the Everton academy to make his first-team debut in 2002 at the age of 16 and scored his first Premier League goal - a last-minute winner against Arsenal - five days before his 17th birthday.

Everton were unable to hang onto Rooney when United came calling in the summer of 2004 but there is now a realistic prospect of him making the move back to Merseyside.

Koeman's comments were backed up by Everton's director of football Steve Walsh, who said it would be remiss of the club not to be interested if Rooney were available.

"Wayne Rooney is one of the greatest players that has ever played the game in England and for us not to be interested would be wrong," he said. "He started his career here and if the opportunity arose that he could come back, and it sat well with everyone, it is something we would consider.

"He is a class apart, he sees things, and all the things that have been said about Wayne are true. He comes into that category of being one of England's greatest ever players, so why wouldn't we be interested?

"I think the whole thing would be euphoric." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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