Wayne Rooney has revealed he turned down Everton’s advances after they offered him the chance to potentially return to Goodison Park as the club’s new manager.
Speaking at his weekly pre-match press conference, Rooney said, “Everton approached my agent and asked me to interview for the vacant job, which I turned down.”
The Merseyside club are now reportedly in final talks with former Porto manager Vitor Pereira, as well as Frank Lampard and Duncan Ferguson about the possibility of taking the job, following the sacking of Rafael Benitez earlier this month.
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Ferguson is currently leading the team in a caretaker role, but recently said he does not think he has the appropriate experience to land the job on a full time basis.
Everton are 16th in the Premier League and have not won in the top flight since the start of December.
Rooney would have been guaranteed a hero’s welcome at Goodison Park, after starting his remarkable playing career with the club, before returning for a second spell, which came to an end in 2018.
England’s all time leading scorer has refused to rule out ever going back to work with his boyhood club, but insists now is not the right time.
“I believe I will be a Premier League manager and I believe I’m ready for that 100 per cent, and if that is with Everton one day in the future that’d be absolutely great", he said.
I’ve got a job here to do at Derby County which is an important job to me
Everton’s problems feel insignificant when weighed up against the job Rooney faces with Derby, who are not only eight points from safety in the Championship, but they also face the very real prospect of going out of business.
The club has been in administration for four months and were given until the start of February to provide proof of funding to the English Football League, to ensure they could continue until the end of the season.
The administrators at Pride Park have been afforded more time, with the deadline extended by a month to allow further talks to be held with potential investors.
Given the turmoil with his current club, Rooney could have been forgiven for wanting to walk away to rejoin Everton, and he admits it was a tough scenario to face.
“They got in touch with my agent and my agent let the administrators know as well. Of course it was a very difficult decision for me”, he said.
After bringing an end to any speculation, Rooney will now ready his team for their league clash against Birmingham.
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