Everton boss Sam Allardyce has confirmed Wayne Rooney has held talks over a possible switch to MLS side DC United - though he insists the striker hasn’t asked to leave.
News broke earlier this week that an “agreement in principle” had been reached between Everton, Rooney and DC United.
Further press reports overnight suggested Rooney was reluctant to leave Goodison Park and his future would depend on who was in charge next season.
Allardyce, unsurprisingly, fielded a number of questions about Rooney’s future, confirming that talks had taken place:
My understanding is that there has been some negotiations. As to clarity of whether Wayne is leaving or staying I’ll find out when he comes in for training today.
I don’t get involved in transfers or negotiations. All I know is there interest - where Wayne lies with it I can’t tell you at the moment. If the player wants to leave - if any player does - I’m comfortable with it.
But Wayne Rooney has not asked to leave or had a confrontation with me. We have not had a difficult situation between us.
Allardyce seemed to keen to play down any talk of a rift between himself and Rooney, despite what the media have been reporting over the past week.
The Toffees boss was instead keen to praise the impact the former England captain has had on the team this season:
“Wayne is so level-headed. He’s never got carried away and that’s why he’s played so well and achieved so much. He doesn’t let the outside world effect him and that’s why he’s done so well and stayed so level-headed.
He’s had a difficult time since last summer but we’ve all come through that, Wayne included. We’ve achieved a fantastic league position, and that’s down to all the players.
We’ve accumulated a fantastic points total. Yes we can all play better and achieve more but what the whole squad have achieved is very good.”
In a typically spiky press conference, Allardyce refused to answer any more questions on Rooney as he didn’t want to be ‘tricked’ into saying anything different about the striker’s future.
However, when pushed, Allardyce added:
“I’ve answered those questions. I’ve been asked five or six times. I can’t be tricked into saying something different.”
“You know what it’s like sat in my position. If ANY players wants to go he can. Wayne is a special player but any player can leave. The headline is not “Sam says Rooney can go”. It’s ANY player can leave if they want to. Whether he will is another matter.”
“It’s not my responsibility anymore to be at those levels of negotiations. Those areas are taken out of managers hands now. That’s not the case anymore.”
The Toffees boss was also asked about his own future, to which he gave a typically forthright answer:
“I have a contract. Until someone tells me I’m no longer wanted then I have a contract. That’s it. Next season is already planned. It’s done, it’s there.”