He had previously mentioned this in passing when being introduced by MLS club D.C. United a couple of weeks ago, but reiterated his comments when speaking to former USMNT player Taylor Twellman ahead of his debut on Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Rooney spoke about his choice in moving to the MLS -
“I don’t think it’s a chip on my shoulder, I think it’s a determination to win and to play.
”Obviously at Manchester United that wasn’t happening as much as I would have liked and I quite easily could have stayed there with two years left on my contract and picked up the wages and been happy with that and that’s it.
”But I wanted to play, went back to Everton and had a year there, then as I’ve said before, Everton made it clear towards the end of the season that they’d be happy for me to leave.”
Rooney seemed to insinuate that he was not given a choice to stay on nor a reason why the Blues were happy to offload him and his hefty wages -
“For whatever reason, I still don’t know. I felt I was doing OK, I was top goal scorer [despite] playing most of the season from midfield, so...
”But that’s football. And that gave me a decision to make, and I made this decision.”
There were rumours that despite his goals for the Toffees last season, the fact that he didn’t seem to fit into any set position on the pitch or his obvious lack of fitness made it a no-brainer for new manager Marco Silva and new Director of Football Marcel Brands to offload the veteran.
“Well I said to Everton, I said, ‘Listen, I’m not a kid and if this [leaving the club] is what you want, tell me. If you want me to stay, tell me’ and we talked about it.
”As an 18-, 20-, 21-year-old, obviously I wouldn’t have been able to handle that the way I have now. And they told me and I said ‘Fair enough.’ I’m not going to disrespect the football club.
”So this option became available as well as a few different ones, and I just felt this was the right one.”