Wayne Rooney’s transfer to Everton at the beginning of this season was much-heralded as it looked like the prodigal son had finally returned for one last hurrah after making a name for himself in the world of football.
But with the season turning out like it did, it now appears that final fling will last just one season as the forward contemplates a move to the MLS with DC United in the American capital.
Despite banging in 11 goals this season for the Blues, Rooney has been relegated to a bit part role in the side as his ageing legs have cost him a chance to make a significant contribution to the Everton midfield. Even in the time he has been on the pitch though it is clear to see that the footballing brain has not slowed down, and his vision remains undimmed though execution has been his biggest failing over the last couple of seasons.
The 32-year-old last scored back in December, but has featured in 40 games, racking up over 3,000 minutes of playing time, despite playing just over 2,400 minutes the previous season at Manchester United.
There were plenty of rumours over the summer that Rooney could be heading to the China Super League for a bumper payday, but instead took a 50% paycut to come back to Everton, the club he left as a teenager to go on and become England’s most prolific goalscorer of all time, with 53 goals and 119 international caps.
He has recently been dissatisfied at the Blues, and there was even an outburst from him aimed at under-fire manager Sam Allardyce following the player being substituted after yet another lacklustre display, with the discord in the Everton changing room becoming tabloid fodder.
DC United meanwhile are struggling to start the MLS season, sitting in last place in the Easter Conference with just one win in seven games. Washington Post soccer correspondent Steven Goff reports that DC United had made inquiries into signing Rooney during the summer as well, but talks are now accelerating with the Washington-based club moving closer to inking a deal for the player.
Rooney’s deal with Everton runs until the end of next season, so a transfer fee will have to be agreed upon or some other release deal brokered. A similar negotiation saw some amount (£10 million purportedly) taken off Romelu Lukaku’s transfer fee as he joined the Red Devils going the opposite way last summer.
DC United are not one of the higher profile clubs in the MLS and also have one of smaller transfer budgets, but with a new stadium opening soon this proposed transfer represents a move towards increasing the profile of the club, much like LA Galaxy have done in the past with players David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The American transfer window opens on July 10th.