Everton boss Ronald Koeman has left the door well and truly open for Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney to return to Goodison Park.
The 31-year-old’s future at Old Trafford has been the subject of a great deal of speculation in recent months, as he has dropped into a bit-part role under Jose Mourinho.
Having surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton on the club’s all-time top goalscorer list, and with young guns like Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial keeping him out of the team, the future looks bleak for Rooney in Manchester as it looks as though he’s coming to a natural end of his time at the club.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Koeman has revealed that he would be happy to see Rooney back at Everton, with the England captain leaving in 2004 after making debut for the Toffees at the age of 16.
“He still has two or three years in front of him to play at the highest level,” he said. “What will happen at the end of the season, I do not know? In my opinion he’s one of the players who can make Everton stronger than they are now.
“It’s all about what the players likes, what Manchester United need to do and we are not involved in that project. Every player who we feel can make the team stronger is welcome at Everton.”
As noted by The Telegraph last month, United were considering selling Rooney ahead of the Chinese Super League transfer deadline on February 28, but clearly no such move materialised as he remains at Old Trafford for the time being.
In turn, this comes down to whether or not Rooney believes he still has plenty to offer at the top level and wants to stay in England, or if he is ready to snub the sentimental switch, cash in and accept a lucrative deal in China.
He wouldn’t be the first to choose the latter nor the last, as ultimately he’ll also want to prioritise what’s best for his family as taking up a multi-million pound contract in the Far East would certainly help them build a hugely successful future.