According to reports in The Times, Everton have agreed terms with MLS club DC United over the transfer of Wayne Rooney with the move now dependent on the player agreeing terms with the Washington-based team, but the Toffees’ Premier League rivals Newcastle United should make a last-gasp attempt to keep the 119-cap international in the Premier League.
Well, The Times says that neither manager Marco Silva, nor director of football Marcel Brands, said they wanted the 32-year-old to stay at Goodison Park during a press conference on Monday, instead speaking about the role he could take up in the future if he returns to Goodison Park.
The Times says that the two clubs have come to an agreement that would see the former England international move to the US, but it now depends on whether they can meet his wage demands – he currently earns £8m-a-year with the Merseyside outfit.
Meanwhile, Rafa Benitez, whom Toon fans have urged not to sign a 28-year-old star for a club-record £20m fee, led Newcastle to an impressive 10th-place finish in their first season back in the Premier League last term, but goalscoring proved to be one of their biggest weaknesses as they only netted 39 times in their 38 top flight fixtures.
Hopes would have been high that the former Manchester United man could make a big impact on his return to Goodison Park, but it never really happened as the club struggled to achieve what it looked like they might possibly be able to following a big summer of spending.
The 32-year-old, who played in a variety of different positions including centre-forward, attacking midfield and central midfield, found it difficult to nail down a regular spot in the starting XI, and he ended the season with 11 goals in 40 appearances in all competitions.
His standout moment came in the 4-0 win against West Ham United on Merseyside in November, when he netted a hat-trick – including a stunning goal from his own half.
Despite often playing in a deeper role, Rooney showed that he can still be a lethal finisher and it would be no surprise that if he was played in what is probably his preferred centre-forward he would score goals and add to the 208 he already has in the Premier League.
While his wages could be an issue, you would have to wonder if the 32-year-old would jump at the opportunity to stay in England and play in front of a passionate St James’ Park crowd if he knew he was going to start regularly, and it could be a risk worth taking for Benitez and the club.