By Editor Wayne Veysey
Everton are weighing up a sensational deal to re-sign Wayne Rooney next summer, Football Insider sources understand.
The Merseysiders are considering making a move to bring the England star back to his boyhood club for the final years of his career.
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Rooney has spent the last 11 years at Manchester United after signing from Everton for £25million after his outstanding performances for England at Euro 2004.
Even though the forward, who turns 30 next week, will have three years left on his Manchester United contract at the end of the season, the possibility is growing that this could be his final campaign with the 20-times Premier League winners.
Rooney has scored only one league goal this season despite playing for Louis van Gaal’s team as either the centre-forward or in a deeper-lying second striker role, and has not scored away from home in the competition for 12 months.
Rooney remains a first-team regular under Van Gaal, just as he was under David Moyes and Sir Alex Ferguson, but the signs are growing that he has passed his peak as a footballer.
Van Gaal demonstrated with his treatment of fellow Dutchman Robin van Persie, who left United for Fenerbahce in the summer after being told he no longer featured in the manager’s plans, that he is ruthless when it comes to dispensing with players he might once have regarded as favourites.
Rooney has been given the all-clear to play at Goodison Park on Saturday after shaking off a minor ankle injury that forced him to pull out of England’s Euro 2016 qualifiers during the international break.
His relationship with the Everton faithful has improved in recent years and he even wore the club shirt when he made an appearance during Duncan Ferguson’s testimonial match earlier this year.
Any Rooney deal would be dependent upon him negotiating a pay-off with United, as the Merseysiders would not be able to come close to matching his Old Trafford salary, which is worth £230,000-a-week plus bonuses.