Paul Merson: I would love to see this £230,000-a-week ace sign for Everton
By Alex Stevens
Paul Merson has revealed he would love to see Wayne Rooney end his career at Everton.
The Sky Sports pundit is convinced that Manchester United skipper Rooney is too good to move to China and would be better served making a romantic return to boyhood club Everton.
The speculation surrounding the future of England and United’s record goalscorer intensified on Thursday after his agent Paul Stretford flew out to China to speak to interested clubs.
But Rooney later released a statement on Thursday evening to reveal he will remain at Old Trafford for the remainder of this season even though he has struggled for regular game time under Jose Mourinho.
Pundit Merson believes Rooney still has plenty to offer even though he has not started a league game in two months and would like him to end his career at boyhood club Everton, whom he quit for United as an 18-year-old in 2004.
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“I think he’s too good for China. For me, I’d love him to finish his career at Everton if I’m being honest,” Merson said to the Sky Sports website. “He started there, he’s an Everton fan and I would love that but that’s just me. He’s just a bit too good for China.
“To be fair, Wayne Rooney has done everything in the game so if he did go, I wouldn’t have any qualms because he’s beaten records and he’s got the caps.
“But when I see other youngsters going there, I just think ‘what are you doing?’ You’re playing in the best league in the world, you’re getting good money, so why go over there?”
Rooney returned to training this week after a muscular injury and is in contention to play in Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Southampton.
Despite his statement, the Mail claim the boyhood Goodison fan and star product of the club’s academy has made up his mind not be at Old Trafford next season.
This paves the way for the 31-year-old striker to join a new club when the European transfer window opens in the summer.
One hurdle to overcome will be what the Mail claim are Rooney’s £230,000-a-week wages, a figure which would comfortably smash Everton’s current wage structure.
Rooney has 18 months left on his United contract but has been on the fringes for much of this season as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial contest the United forward roles.
In other Everton transfer news, the club have agreed the terms of an out-of-window striker transfer.