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IN BUSINESS SINCE 2004

Wayne Rooney leaves Man Utd for Everton

“Once a Blue Always a Blue”

Wayne Rooney who has signed a two-year deal with Everton, said he was "ecstatic" about his decision, and his "first game back will be an emotional day. It's a great feeling to be back. I cannot wait to meet the lads, get on the training pitch and then get on the pitch to play." A happy Wayne Rooney is back on the Premier League club Everton squad for the upcoming season. Manchester United’s legendary superstar striker and highest goal-scorer in history, Wayne Rooney completed an emotional return to Goodison Park as he revealed his love for his boyhood team saying he had secretly worn blue Everton pajamas even when he was Manchester United’s captain. “I've been wearing Everton pajamas for years,” said Rooney. "I've kept it quiet for the last 13 years but I've actually been wearing Everton pajamas at home with my kids. I had to keep that a bit quiet!”

Rooney rejected lucrative contracts from China and the United States in order to "go home" after he ended a 13-year career at Old Trafford. He never stopped supporting his former club, even after his high-profile move to United in 2004. Rooney had one year left on his Man United contract. Roo took a significant pay cut on the £350,000 a week he earned competing for Manchester United because he was determined to play again for Everton, the club that launched his Premier League career when he was a gifted 16-year-old. Reportedly Rooney wanted to make sure his three children saw him play in Everton blue before he retired. “Wearing the Everton shirt feels as special as it did 13 years ago and I'm just looking forward now to getting out on the pitch with it on."

Everton was determined to re-sign the player they sold for £27m, and Toffees manager Ronald Koeman is convinced that Rooney has much to offer, both on and off the pitch. Rooney's return will also be welcomed by most Everton fans. The former England captain after signing a two-year contract with Everton made no attempt to hide his excitement at his homecoming. "It's a great feeling to be back," said Rooney, who scored 17 goals in 77 games in his first term at Everton’s Goodison Park. "It is some time since I said that the only Premier League club I would play for other than Manchester United was Everton, so I am delighted that the move has happened. Thirteen years ago, I went to United with the intention of winning trophies and I have been fortunate to be a part of one of the most successful periods in the club's history. I have come back to Everton because I believe Ronald Koeman is building a team that can win something and I look forward to playing my part in making that a reality for the club I have supported since a boy.”

"Winning trophies with Everton would be the pinnacle,” continued Rooney. "I cannot wait to meet the lads, get on the training pitch and then get on the pitch to play. I'm ecstatic. I'm not just coming back because it's the team I support, the team I grew up playing for, I'm coming back because I feel the club can move forward and be successful. I want to be part of it. There will be pressure on me to perform, but I'm ready to go. I believe I can help move this club forward and be more successful on the pitch." The decision to bring back Rooney is considered romantic, and would not have happened if Everton manager Ron Koeman had not supported the idea along with chairman Bill Kenwright who admitted he is a "romantic" when it comes to football.

"He has shown me that ambition that we need and that winning mentality. He knows how to win titles and I'm really happy he's decided to come home," said Koeman. "He loves Everton and he was desperate to come back. He is still only 31 and I don't have any doubts about his qualities. It's fantastic he's here." Wayne Rooney made 559 appearances for Manchester United and broke Bobby Charlton's goal-scoring record with 253 goals, winning every trophy available at club level while he was at it.

Rooney’s boss at Manchester United, Portugal manager Jose Mourinho wished Wayne Rooney well after agreeing to allow him to move back to Everton."It is no secret that I have long been an admirer of Wayne," said Mourinho. "He has been a model professional in his time at the club and will remain in the history books for many years to come. His experience, focus, and determination will be missed and I wish him well for the future."

Wayne Rooney Quotes

“Becoming a dad was the proudest moment of my life. Playing football does not even compare. Becoming a dad means you have to be a role model for your son and be someone he can look up to. I don't think I look up to any players. Obviously, you respect everyone. There are many ways to grow football-wise. You go slow or are pushed to go faster, otherwise, you get left behind. For me, there would be trouble in stopping learning.”

Years ago, Wayne Rooney handed in a transfer request at Goodison Park after rejecting a club-record contract offer from Everton before joining Manchester United in 2004. Rooney says that winning a trophy with Everton "would be the pinnacle" after rejoining them from United. Everton has not won a major trophy since the 1995 FA Cup. Rooney's 13-year stint at United included 5 Premier League titles, 3 League Cups, 1 FA Cup, 1 Champions League and 1 Europa League. "This football club should be winning trophies and we're taking huge steps to try to win trophies," said Rooney.

Rooney was asked what it would mean to win silverware and titles with Everton. "That would be the pinnacle because I remember the FA Cup final in 1995, I was there as a nine-year-old, and for that to be the last trophy - Everton should have won more trophies since then." Everton have spent more than £90m in the 2017 summer transfer market, and have agreed on a deal to acquire land in Liverpool to build a new £300m stadium. "With the new stadium in the pipeline, it's an exciting time to be an Everton player, to be an Everton fan,” said Rooney. "It's on us players to make those times even more exciting by giving them good performances and try to help them be successful and bring trophies to the club. I firmly believe we have the potential to be a success in the league and there are the cup competitions. We're certainly capable of winning one of those cups."

Thirty-one-year-old Rooney will wear the number 10 shirt, which belonged last season to Romelu Lukaku, who is set to sign for Manchester United for an initial £75m. Rooney is Everton's 6th signing this summer since finishing seventh in the 2017-18 Premier League season. In addition to former England captain, Rooney, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, England defender Michael Keane, Netherlands midfielder Davy Klaassen, and forwards Sandro Ramirez and Henry Onyekuru have also signed on with Everton this summer. "I really feel now the club is moving in the right direction, bringing the right caliber of players in. I want to be part of it and hopefully part of a successful Everton team," added Rooney.

Rooney played 559 times for Manchester United, scoring a club record 253 goals. Rooney has 53 goals from 119 England caps. Rooney will not have long to wait before returning to compete against the Red Devils at Old Trafford. Everton are scheduled to visit Old Trafford in the Premier League on 17 September. Buy Manchester United v Everton tickets now from LiveFootballTickets.com!

Everton manager Koeman believes Rooney's extensive experience will be invaluable in the Goodison Park dressing room. "No-one in the team except Gareth Barry [Manchester City] and Davy Klaassen [Ajax] have won titles," said Koeman. "Don't forget the experience he will give to the rest of the team. Wayne, of course, is still competitive - he will be a competitor always - and he wants to play at the highest level that is possible for him. It's his home and he likes competition, he likes pressure. His main qualities are his quality on the ball, his experience and what I describe as his winning mentality. Everybody knows he can play out of different positions up front. He's a smart player. He's an experienced football player and that helps everybody."

Rooney said it was good to wear the blue Everton shirt again after 13 years in the red United kit. "Wearing the shirt feels as special as it did 13 years ago and I'm just looking forward now to getting out on the pitch with it on."

Wayne Rooney record at Manchester United

Rooney, 31, played 559 times for United, scoring 253 goals. He won five Premier League titles and each of the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup once after joining from Everton for £27m in 2004. Rooney's return comes just ahead of Man United signing top Everton goal-scorer, striker Romelu Lukaku with a £75m deal for the Belgium international agreed between the two clubs. "I'm not just coming back because it's the team I support, the team I grew up playing for,” said Rooney. “I'm coming back because I feel the club can move forward and be successful.I want to be part of it. There will be pressure on me to perform, but I'm ready to go. I believe I can help move this club forward and be more successful on the pitch."

Rooney says when he spoke with Everton boss Ronald Koeman, he "saw it in his eyes that he wanted me to be part of his team. It was a no-brainer for me and the only place I was going to go." Rooney said he told his agent Paul Stretford to "go and speak to them, let's make it happen." "It was obvious I was going to be leaving Manchester United this summer. There were other options there but once I knew that Everton wanted me to come back then it was the only option for me." Koeman began talking about Rooney's potential return last October, saying he would be "pleased" to sign United’s and England's all-time leading goal-scorer.

"Wayne has shown me that ambition that we need and that winning mentality - he knows how to win titles and I'm really happy he's decided to come home,” said Koeman. "He loves Everton and he was desperate to come back. He is still only 31 and I don't have any doubts about his qualities. It's fantastic he's here. We have a lot of young players and sometimes in life, you need somebody who you look up to, who you learn from. That was also one of the messages when we spoke about on and off the pitch what his function will be in the team. One of the functions for Wayne is to show the rest of the team why he is - and still is - that player."

Rooney was often left out of United's starting line-up by manager Jose Mourinho last season, and only appeared in 25 league games, the fewest he has ever played in one season. His total of eight goals in all competitions was also the lowest of his career. Rooney lost his place on the England National Team, but has not retired from international duty and only needs six more caps to equal goalkeeper Peter Shilton's all-time record of 125 appearances. Rooney was an unused substitute as United beat Southampton to win the EFL Cup in February, and made only a brief appearance at the end of the Europa League final victory over Ajax in May. In his 13 seasons with United, he finished as top scorer five times and was named fans' player of the year twice.

"It is no secret that I have long been an admirer of Wayne," said Mourinho. "He has been a model professional throughout his time at the club and will remain in the history books for many years to come. It is never easy to see a great player playing less football than he would like and I could not stand in his way when he asked to go back to Everton. His experience, focus, and determination will be missed and I wish him well for the future." Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said about Rooney, "Who can forget his storybook debut hat-trick against Fenerbahce, the spectacular overhead kick against Manchester City and the countless match-winning performances in his time here? But after much discussion, the club has decided to accept his request to rejoin his boyhood team."

Club legend and respected Manchester United captain, Rooney will be remembered well by United fans after scoring more goals than anyone. With Rooney on the squad, the Red Devil’s won three European Cup finals in four years. At his best, between 2004 and 2011, Rooney was considered the finest British player of his generation scoring some of the greatest goals ever seen. Rooney was brought up by parents Jeanette and Wayne in the Croxteth area of Liverpool alongside brothers Graham and John, with all five members of the household avid Everton supporters. Roo joined the Toffees at the age of nine and quickly built a reputation as a precocious talent, scoring 114 goals in 29 matches for the under-10 and under-11 sides. David Moyes gave him his first-team debut for Everton in August 2002, and he quickly became a regular first team starter, scoring his first Premier League goal - a last-minute winner against Arsenal - five days before his 17th birthday. The goal led to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger describing Rooney as "the biggest English talent I have seen since I arrived in this country. He has everything you dream of for a front player - intelligent feet, quick reactions."

Rooney became one of world football's highest-paid teenagers with his boyhood club, but handed in a transfer request in August 2004, leading to him being signed by Sir Alex Ferguson for what was the highest fee paid for a player under 20. Rooney signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract at Old Trafford in the 2013-14 campaign, which included the option of a further season. In Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography, Fergie said,"He's one of those players that, whenever he gets the ball, something seems to happen. Wayne is only 20 and without question the best young player I've ever seen."

"I think crazy things happen around him also. He is an impulsive guy like me. In football no-one is perfect. You learn from your mistakes and I like that with him. He is himself; I think that is very important. That is one English player I like more than anyone," said Zlatan Ibrahimovic. "He's been through that generation with the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. He really feels like he's the dad figure if you like. He puts his arm around us, brings us together, gets us going," said Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere. "I miss playing with Rooney. Maybe we will play together again one day. He was so powerful, I was calling him 'Pitbull'. The power of Wayne Rooney is his mentality and strength and he never stops," said Cristiano Ronaldo. "For me he is the greatest English player of the generation. What he is capable of doing on the field is very special, and he is one of the few players that would improve any squad in Europe," said Lionel Messi.

"Cristiano had an absolute desire to be the best individual in the world. Wayne would say: 'I want to be the world's best but I'll do it by being a team player.' That has not allowed him to be the 40-goals-a-season man he could have been," said former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand. "All the best skipper in the next chapter of your amazing career. Been an absolute pleasure and learned so much," said United winger Jesse Lingard.

"One day I will be able to tell my grandkids I played with you. All the best and thank you," said United midfielder Ander Herrera. "All the best Wayne Rooney and congratulations on a great United career. The best striker I played with and saw at the club," said Former United defender Gary Neville. "The time has come to leave Man United. Thirteen great years at the club! Thank you all for making our family so welcome and treating us so well," said Wayne’s wife Coleen. 

When Rooney left Everton for Manchester United at age 18 in a £27m deal in August 2004, he left a side wracked by financial crisis and low on optimism to enjoy a stellar Old Trafford career, eclipsing Sir Bobby Charlton as United's record scorer with 253 goals as well as winning five Premier League titles, the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and three League Cups. Rooney returned to Goodison Park as a mature player and man but is also rejoining a vastly different club to the one he left as a youngster almost 13 years ago. Everton, under major shareholder Farhad Moshiri, are now fiercely ambitious, having spent more than £90m on five players before Rooney's deal was signed as part of bold plan to invade the top four. Everton's fortunes turned around when British-Iranian businessman Moshiri sold his 15% share in Arsenal to business partner Alisher Usmanov and bought a 49.9% stake in the club in February 2016. The dismissal of manager Roberto Martinez came three months after Moshiri's arrival, with the team 12th in the Premier League. Ronald Koeman was successfully lured and hired away from Southampton with promises of heavy financial backing and handsome rewards. Last summer's transfer window brought Ashley Williams from Swansea City for £12m, and £25m Yannick Bolasie from Crystal Palace, plus the success of the £7m signing from Aston Villa, Idrissa Gueye. Following the FA Cup third-round exit at home to Leicester City in January, Everton agreed on a £30m deal to sign goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from Sunderland.

Moshiri's finances and vision are behind Everton's proposed new stadium at Bramley Moore on the Mersey waterfront. And combined with Koeman's positive outlook, Everton has been reinvented in the space of 18 months. Former player Kevin Ratcliffe, Everton's most successful captain, said, "It is so unlike us to be doing business very, very early and doing it without selling players first. It is usually just a few days before the deadline but now Everton can prepare with these new players."

Everton ambassador and former player Ian Snodin added, "Every Evertonian is buzzing. Farhad Moshiri is a wealthy, wealthy man and he wants Everton competing in the top four and for titles. Everton is not content competing for sixth, seventh and eighth anymore. It is about competing for top places." The expected departure of top scorer Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United in a deal that could end up being worth about £90m has not made a dent in Everton’s optimism. Moshiri said, "It is not enough to say we are special and that we are a great club. We don't want to be a museum. We need to win." Rooney's experience, acquired over 631 club games, will surely provide leadership and the fighting mentality Everton lacked last season.

"Everton have got some very exciting young players and he will give those young kids in the dressing room a real lift. Playing alongside Wayne Rooney, just being educated on the training ground and on the pitch, will do them the world of good. For me, it's a no-brainer." Former Everton midfielder Leon Osman said, "I don't know if he is a direct replacement for Lukaku but it shows where Everton are. He would be able to give them real strength in depth. Everton have shown all summer they can compete to sign players and that's really great for the club moving forward. They will have a lot more games with the European adventure they are going on and it will be interesting to see how the league mixes with that."

Koeman said, "In my opinion, he is one of the players who can make Everton stronger and every player we think can make the team stronger is welcome at Everton." 2015 was the last time Rooney appeared in royal blue when he was in the Toffee's side for a testimonial match for former striker Duncan Ferguson - he only came on for 15 minutes and said after the match, "the fans gave me a great reception, which I was delighted with,” adding that “it was great for my kids to see me once in that Everton shirt”.

Soon Wayne’s children, Kai, Klay, and Kit will be seeing their Dad in his #10 Everton shirt every week. Buy Everton tickets to watch Wayne Rooney play for the Toffees, and buy Manchester United tickets to see Romulu Kukaku play live for the Red Devils!