Man Utd transfer news: Rooney Everton move a 'no-brainer'
United's record goal scorer leaves Old Trafford and returns to the team he still supports
"A no-brainer" is how Wayne Rooney described his decision to rejoin Everton on a free transfer after leaving Manchester United and returning to his boyhood club.
Speaking to Everton TV shortly after he was officially unveiled as a Toffee, the 31-year-old Rooney explained why he has returned to Goodison Park after 13 years at Old Trafford. "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," said Rooney, who scored 17 goals in 77 games before he was lured away in 2004.
During his time with United, Rooney netted 253 goals - a club record - but he is now back where it all started having signed a two-year deal. "It was a no-brainer for me and the only place I was going to go," explained the former England captain. "There were other options there but once I knew that Everton wanted me to come back then it was the only option for me."
Toffees manager Ronald Koeman was instrumental in Rooney's decision to return with the striker saying that he "saw it in his eyes that he wanted me to be part of his team". Asked if he was nervous about winning over the fans he walked on more than a decade ago, Rooney said: "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."
According to The Sun, Rooney, who confessed he's spent the last 13 years wearing Everton pyjamas to bed, will receive "a £10m golden goodbye from United", a reward for his contribution to an era when the club has won five Premier League titles, the Champions League, the FA Cup, the Europa League and four League Cup crowns. And he'll need that money because there'll have to be some belt-tightening in the Rooney household next season.
The Sun says he'll be pocketing a worryingly modest weekly wage of £160,000, roughly half of what he was earning at Old Trafford.
Perhaps Rooney will be taking Romelu Lukaku's Everton locker as he finalises his move in the other direction. Asked by ESPN why he has penned a £75m deal with United, the Belgian marksman said: "It's a club that is hungry to win the league again, to be dominant in the world again. It's the sort of opportunity I've always wanted since a child."
Lukaku is currently in the United States, where's he due in court in October after he was arrested for making too much noise at a recent party. He is expected to link up with his new club shortly prior to their summer tour. "Now it's time to work hard, work harder than I ever did before and I'm willing to do it," he said, presumably in a whisper.