Everton will table summer bids for goal machine and defender - Times
By Alex Stevens
Everton will attempt to sign Premier League aces Wayne Rooney and Michael Keane this summer, according to a report.
The Times claim the Merseysiders are targeting big-money swoops for Manchester United and England record scorer Rooney, 31, and Burnley centre-back Keane, 24.
It is said that Everton will intensify their efforts to land their academy product Rooney amid reports he wants to quit Manchester United.
The Mail reported last week the England and United skipper has made the bombshell decision to leave Old Trafford after growing resigned to his fringe status in the team.
The Time claim Everton had a loan offer for Rooney rebuffed by United during the January transfer window but will make a fresh bid to sign him in the summer.
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The report also states that Ronald Koeman’s side are keen to sign centre-back Keane from Burnley following his eyecatching displays this season.
Rooney has 18 months remaining on his £300,000-a-week United contract that makes him one of the highest paid players in the top flight.
He left Everton in 2004 to move to Old Trafford and Koeman has gone public with bring the veteran forward back to his boyhood club.
“I believe that Wayne Rooney is still playing at a high level,” the Dutchman said, as quoted by the Times. “I think he made a good choice to stay at Manchester United and in the Premier League because he has still two or three years in front of him to play on a high level.
“What will happen at the end of the season? I don’t know, but in my opinion he is one of the players who can make Everton stronger. It’s all about what the player likes, what Manchester United needs to do, and we are not involved in that project. But every player that we at Everton think can make the team stronger is welcome to Everton.”
Rooney is the record goalscorer for United and England but has been marginalised by the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic last summer and the emergence of Marcus Rashford.
Manager Jose Mourinho does not regard the 31-year-old as a midfielder and has used him almost exclusively in forward roles.
Rooney has scored five goals and provided 10 assists from 29 matches in all competitions this season, but he has scored just twice in the league and has not started a Premier League fixture for two months.
He was an unused substitute last Sunday as Ibrahimovic’s heroics secured the League Cup for United in a thrilling 3-2 win against Southampton at Wembley.
In other Everton transfer news, the club have agreed the terms of an out-of-window striker transfer.