Moyes won't use Rooney to rebuild
By James Pearson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Everton manager David Moyes will not use England international striker Wayne Rooney to fund his rebuilding plans this close season.
The Toffees finished just above the drop zone this term in one of their most disappointing Premiership campaigns to date, including Saturday's 5-1 defeat to Man City.
The former Preston boss is keen to avoid a repeat next term, but will not cash in on the club's most sellable asset to bring in cash for new signings.
Moyes has a long-term goal for the club, and while the benefits have not been felt this season, he is hoping to reap the dividends after the summer.
"Wayne won't be sold. I'm sure of that," explained Moyes. "I have been planning for a long time, so hopefully some of the plans will come to fruition.
"I need to be confident they do happen because there's no way we can go again next season like that.
"If we don't invest over the summer it's going to be the same again next year."
With Chelsea, among others, reportedly monitoring Rooney, who has been called up to England's preliminary squad for Euro 2004, Moyes is keen to fend off potential interest.
Meanwhile, the Scot has called time on Steve Simonsen, Scott Gemmill and Paul Gerrard's time with the Goodison Park outfit.
The trio, along with Francis Jeffers, are not being retained and will depart when their contracts expire, while on-loan Jeffers will return to Arsenal.
Meanwhile, reserve team players Michael Symes, Brian Moogan, Craig Garside and Scott Brown are also being released.