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Are the foundations being laid for Wayne Rooney’s return?

Ronald Koeman has spoken publicly for the first time about a move for the Man United striker

Everton v Villarreal - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Is Wayne Rooney preparing for a dramatic return to Everton?

The whisperings in the media certainly gathered pace this week as rumours suggested the 31-year-old could return to his boyhood club.

That speculation was probably sparked by Rooney’s current plight at Manchester United, with the striker currently out of the team following a poor run of form.

The same goes for his international place too, with Rooney among the substitutes for the World Cup qualifying draw against Slovenia earlier this month.

After leaving on something of a cloud back in 2004 Rooney has actively sought to smooth relations with his old club in recent years culminating in his appearance in a blue shirt for Duncan Ferguson’s testimonial last month.

Therefore a move back to Merseyside is not as much of an outlandish thought as it perhaps was a few years ago.

Ronald Koeman has further fuelled the rumour mill following his comments during his press conference ahead of the West Ham game.

When asked about s potential move for Rooney, Koeman said:

"He is a great player and he still hasn’t finished his career. I don’t know his situation is, I need to respect that.

But even if there is a possibility that Rooney was an option for Everton, I would be very pleased."

When it comes to managers what they don’t say in press conferences is often as significant as what they do say. So the lack of a denial from Koeman over a potential move for Rooney suggests the rumours may well have legs.

Just 24 hours previously former Toffee Leon Osman also spoke about a possible Goodison reunion for Rooney.

Speaking on Sky Sports Osman said he would like to see his former teammate pull on a royal blue shirt again:

"It would not surprise me."I think he has been mending bridges for a couple of seasons now and you know he is an Evertonian at heart.

"I am pretty sure he would love to come back and I hope it happens."

As RBM writer Sean wrote earlier this week a move for Rooney is very much a battle between heart and head.

There’s no doubt that Rooney’s star is on the wane and has looked a shadow of his former self this campaign.

Even with a significant paycut he could still command hefty wages, meaning this is a deal Everton will have to think long and hard about before committing.