Wayne Rooney: Everton stepping up interest in signing Man Utd captain

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney is Manchester United's all-time leading scorer with 253 goals

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright met Wayne Rooney's long-time adviser Paul Stretford in London on Wednesday amid speculation over the forward's Manchester United future.

BBC Sport understands there is increased momentum behind a deal to take Rooney back to Goodison Park.

That has now taken the form of face-to-face discussions.

However, as yet, no deal has been agreed for the 31-year-old, and other clubs are still interested.

The future of the the former England captain, who started 15 Premier League games last season, has been the subject of speculation for several months.

Rooney began his career at Goodison Park before joining United for £27m in August 2004.

Everton's major shareholder Farhad Moshiri would regard Rooney's return to Goodison Park as a major coup.

Rooney has said repeatedly that he would not leave Old Trafford for any Premier League team other than Everton, although it is understood that they are not the only club interested.

Rooney, who has a contract with United until 2019, has seen his playing opportunities limited under Jose Mourinho's management.

Asked in May if he wanted to stay at Old Trafford, he said: "Of course. I've been at this club for 13 years, but I want to play football."

Everton's director of football Steve Walsh said in February that "it would be wrong" to ignore a potential deal for the forward, who is United's record goalscorer.

Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata, 24, has emerged as United's preferred striking option to replace the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic - with any deal likely to mean Rooney will be allowed to leave Old Trafford.

Mourinho's side are scheduled to report for pre-season training on Saturday before leaving for a five-match tour of the United States the following day.

Analysis

All parties are remaining tight-lipped on the details of negotiations.

Rooney's best days may be behind him but he still retains a global status - making him the perfect acquisition as Everton continue their fiercely ambitious strategy of demonstrating their determination to be major players once more.

He remains one of the most marketable players in England. Everton don't have anyone who comes close.

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