Wayne Rooney‘s return to Everton has been confirmed after completing an emotional transfer from Manchester United back to his first club.
The 31-year-old has signed a two-year deal after joining on a free transfer from United, who have allowed him to leave after securing a big-name replacement up front by raiding the Toffees for Romelu Lukaku.
Rooney leaves United as their all-time leading scorer on 253 goals, surpassing Bobby Charlton’s record of 249 with a superb free-kick against Stoke City last season.
Still, the former England captain had fallen down in the pecking order under Jose Mourinho, starting just 15 Premier League matches all season and looking past his best.
‘As I’ve said for the last few years, if I left Manchester United, there’s only Everton and Manchester United I’d play for – I wouldn’t play for another Premier League team. I was true to that and I firmly meant that. I didn’t want to play for another club in England other than Everton. Once I knew Everton were interested and wanted to sign me, I made my agent aware, ‘Go and speak to them, let’s make it happen. That’s where I want to go’.’
Everton manager Ronald Koeman, however, has been keen to bring Rooney back to Goodison Park as he builds an exciting new-look side this summer, with around £90million already spent on signings elsewhere.
Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane and Davy Klaassen are among the other high-profile additions made by Koeman, whose side have also been linked with Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud and Swansea City playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Despite being past his peak years, Rooney is another huge coup by Everton after an immensely successful 13 years at Old Trafford.
Sold by the Merseysiders for around £28m all the way back in 2004, Rooney has gone on to make 559 appearances for United, winning a host of major honours.
Rooney formed a key part of some of Sir Alex Ferguson’s best sides in Manchester, winning five Premier League titles between 2006 and 2013, as well as the 2007/08 Champions League and others.
The veteran front-man even picked up three more trophies for his efforts last season, with Jose Mourinho guiding the club to victories in the Community Shield, League Cup and Europa League in his first season in charge.
However, Rooney’s failure to establish himself as a starter ahead of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford in attack, or adapt to compete with the likes of Juan Mata for an attackind midfield role means his long stay at the club has been called to a close.
Rooney was seen arriving for a medical at Everton on Saturday afternoon and his return to his first club has now been made official.
Rooney first made a name for himself with the Blues when at the age of just 16 he scored a stunning winner against Arsenal in 2002, ending their unbeaten run.
He scored 17 goals in 77 games for Everton in his first spell at Goodison and will now get the chance to add to that with his boyhood club.
It has been reported that Rooney will take a 50% pay cut to return to Everton, with a weekly wage of £150,000.