Wayne Rooney will consider return to Everton at end of season

Wayne Rooney in action during the Duncan Ferguson Testimonial match between Everton and Villarreal at Goodison Park in August, 2015
Image: Wayne Rooney in action during the Duncan Ferguson Testimonial match in 2015

Wayne Rooney will consider a return to Everton at the end of the season, after manager Ronald Koeman told Sky Sports News HQ that he would be interested in signing the striker.

With reports of a new two-year contract for Zlatan Ibrahimovic plus long-term interest in Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann, Rooney's 13 years at Old Trafford appear to be coming to an end.

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Sky Sports News HQ understands Everton did make an approach to Jose Mourinho in the January transfer window to enquire about loaning United and England captain Rooney for the rest of the season.

United immediately rebuffed the approach for the 31-year-old insisting he remained a key part of their plans. Rooney still has 16 months left on his £300,000-per-week contract.

Wayne Rooney of Everton holds off Lauren of Arsenal at Goodison Park in 2002
Image: Wayne Rooney is product of Everton's academy and made his debut at 16

The former Everton academy star, who made his debut for the Toffees at 16, will consider a return to Merseyside in the summer alongside offers from the MLS and the Chinese Super League, and Rooney is known to hold the deepest affection for his boyhood club.

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In his testimonial last August, United played Everton at Old Trafford with Rooney saying the opponents were the only two clubs he would ever consider playing for in the Premier League.

Ronald Koeman admits he would be interested in signing Wayne Rooney

In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News HQ on Tuesday, Everton boss Koeman said: "He still has two or three years in front of him to play at the highest level.

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"What will happen at the end of the season, I do not know? In my opinion he's one of the players who can make Everton stronger than they are now.

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"I still think Wayne Rooney is playing at a high level and he made a good choice staying at Manchester United and in the Premier League.

"It's all about what the players likes, what Manchester United need to do and we are not involved in that project. Every player who we feel can make the team stronger is welcome at Everton."

Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring and equalling Sir Bobby Charlton's club goals record of 249 during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round against Reading
Image: Wayne Rooney is known to hold the deepest affection for his boyhood club

Rooney's agent Paul Stretford returned from China last week, where he is understood to have held discussions with four Super League clubs.

One potential issue arose last night after Luis Enrique announced he was leaving Barcelona at the end of the season, however.

Koeman has never hidden his desire to manage at the Nou Camp, where he played for six years, including helping them to land their first European Cup at Wembley.

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