Baines: Wayne Rooney can end trophy drought

Everton full-back Leighton Baines has backed Wayne Rooney to end the club’s 22-year-wait for silverware. The Toffees have been busy in the transfer market this summer with seven players signed for a combined fee of just over £90m.

While the likes of Michael Keane and Davy Klaassen are valuable additions to the squad, the arrival of Wayne Rooney from Manchester United has been the highlight of the Toffees’ transfer window. The England international returned to his boyhood club after 13-year glorious years at Old Trafford, and Baines believes Rooney can bridge their gap to their rivals in order to attain trophy success.

It’s one of the reasons that Everton have been included in one of the football accumulator bets from William Hill, with many pundits tipping them for League or FA Cup glory.

“A trophy is the ultimate goal and I think that is what the manager has come here to do – to push us on to another level, and get us there. Obviously with the new owner and with the chairman, that is the objective, to take that next step. Everyone understands it will be tough. We have already got a bit of a gap to bridge and we are working on it and we hope to do it. I’m fully aware of what Wayne can bring to us and I think he has already shown it in the few weeks he has been here,” he told The Guardian.

Rooney was the undisputed club-captain during his time at Manchester United, but he struggled to make himself under Jose Mourinho, who preferred the experienced Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford for the lone role upfront.

The 31-year-old was also utilised as a support striker during the initial phase of last season, but there was not much success which led to Jose Mourinho pushing Paul Pogba into an attacking midfield role. Rooney did have the option to honour the final years of his United contract, but he decided to accept a golden handshake to make a return to Merseyside. The veteran may have lost some of his skill attributes over the past year, but manager Ronald Koeman is confident that the marksman will make a mark for Everton, and eventually retain his place with England.

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Koeman keen on recruiting another striker

Everton boss Ronald Koeman has admitted that the club could pursue another top striker in their ranks following Wayne Rooney’s dismal performance against MFK Ruzomberok in the first leg of the Europa League third qualifying round.

The England international made his first competitive bow for the Toffees since his return in the summer, and it was one to forget as he struggled to make an impression. However, the same could go for most of his fellow teammates, who produced a below-par performance saved by a deflected winner off Leighton Baines in the end.

In the aftermath of the game, Koeman admitted that his team are not 100 percent in terms of fitness, and the 1-0 victory could be considered as a good result. He added that the Toffees would require another marksman in their ranks with Rooney more suitable behind the strikers, where he appeared to have more freedom with his style of play, he said: “It’s always difficult against these kind of teams who drop back. We are not 100% yet, it is pre-season and it is a good result. We would like to score more, we had chances but every clean sheet in European football is a good result. When Sandro came on Wayne Rooney had more freedom and we had pace up front which made the team better. We know that we would like another striker, you normally need two nines in the squad. I am really confident that we can bring in a good one to make us better.”

The Toffees travel to Slovakia to take on Ruzomberok in the second leg of the qualifier, and Koeman will hope to avoid any complacency after having seen the likes of West Ham United and Southampton fall at a similar stage in previous campaigns. Everton have spent nearly £100m on seven recruits this summer, and Koeman will have one eye on competing for a top-four spot next term, although it would be difficult with the level of spending being done by the Premier League’s elite.

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FUTURE UNSURE

Wayne Rooney and his future has been put into doubt for the past few months as the English forward rejected the offers and extensions that Manchester United attempted to make hoping to continue having his services in the Premier League club.

After months of speculation it is now believed that Rooney has agreed a new long-term contract with United that will be seeing him stay until 2019. Jose Mourinho was interested in signing the English forward from Manchester United but it now seems that it may just be out of his reach.

When Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra ultimately exit the club, Rooney is a candidate on being chosen as the next coach of Manchester United. This is believed to be all part of the agreement reached with the Premier League champions as his renewal will also be seeing him getting €300,000 a week with the armband being an added incentive.

The defensive duo of Vidic and Evra are poised to leave Manchester United at the end of the current season when they will be out of contract as well as Rio Ferdinand who is set for the exit door in the summer.

The arrival of Juan Mata is expected to somehow motivate Rooney and the rest of the players in the squad of Manchester United as they can use all the help they can get to restore the disastrous start of season.

David Moyes did state that there would not be any more arrivals other than Juan Mata but is likely to add new players in the summer.

“I don’t think we’ll have any more in January.I’m still working on it and looking to do things. We know exactly what we’d like to do and if it changes in the last week, which sometimes it can do, then we’ll try. I hope it will be the first of some new signings that will arrive, but more likely in the summer.” The Scottish tactician said.

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DISASTROUS START

Manchester United’s resurgence and revival from the disastrous start of the season they experienced some months ago continued on with their 4th consecutive Premier League triumph against Norwich City but the match that really stood out from the rest so far for Wayne Rooney was their match against Hull City.

David Moyes and his team travelled to the Kingston Communications Stadium on December 26 in order to face off against Hull City in a match that had a total of 5 goals scored.

James Chester and David Meyler gave Hull the early lead as they managed to put the ball into the net of David de Gea in just 13 minutes. Manchester United responded right back with Chris Smalling as he scored a goal of his own at the 19th minute.

Some moments later Wayne Rooney scored with a brilliant volley that equalized the match 2-2 and an own goal from James Chester gave Manchester United the crucial victory. When the match concluded, Rooney spoke his mind about the match.

“We didn’t start well enough today. Two-nil down we had to dig deep and show our fighting spirit. We’ve done that and this is a massive result for us, we knew that we were going to have to dig deep and show our fighting spirit, We had to come back quick and thankfully we got the two goals before half-time.” Wayne told Sky Sports.

The former Everton player later went on talking about his goal which was the 150th Premier League goal he netted.

“The ball’s bounced nicely for me and I’ve had a go. It was a good goal for us at a good time of the game. Once we got the third goal we tried to kill the game off with another one but just couldnt”

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NO TALKS

Wayne Rooney has said that he hasn’t had any conversation with Sir Alex Ferguson since the retirement of the 71 years old Scot.

Before announcing his retirement, Sir Alex had claimed that Rooney had requested for transfer. After that, there were a lot of speculations about Rooney making a move to Chelsea, but, the 28 years old English striker eventually remained at United and he has been in decent form this season.

In his most recent appearance for United against Real Sociedad yesterday, Rooney again put up a fine show and guided his team to a 1-0 win. He was declared the player of the match for his performance.

In his autobiography which is going to be published in a couple of days’ time, the Ex United boss Ferguson has written a few things about Rooney, but, that doesn’t seem to be affecting the English striker at all. According to him, whatever Ferguson has written, it’s all about past and he is not interested to talk about that.

When asked about Ferguson’s remarks, Rooney said, “It’s not something which is going to bother me. My job is to play the game and I am doing just that. I am not interested in talking about things which happened in the past. It’s the future which I am interested in.”

“Everybody is free to express his opinion. So is Sir Alex. I haven’t had a chat with him since the time he quit.”

When asked about United’s inconsistent form so far in the ongoing season, Rooney said, “We have been training hard and we have got hunger for success. Yes, I admit that we haven’t secured as many points as we would have liked to, but, we are determined to do well in the upcoming games.”

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United reject second Chelsea bid

Premier League champions Manchester United have rejected a second Chelsea offer for unsettled England international striker Wayne Rooney, it has been revealed.

The revelation was made by a press officer for the club who stated that a bid for the player was received from Chelsea last season and was rejected straight away with the club maintaining its stance that the player is not for sale at any price. Chelsea already had a bid worth around £ 20 million for the player in cash rejected last month and although United didn’t reveal the financial details of the bid, it is expected that this second bid was worth somewhere around £ 40 million.

The England international striker is reported to be extremely angry and confused regarding his position at the club after David Moyes revealed in a press conference during the club’s pre-season tour of Asia that he would be relying on Robin van Persie as the club’s main target man this season and that has left Wayne Rooney extremely confused after seeing his role reduced in the greater scheme of things.

Rooney had been the centre of a transfer tug of war throughout the summer ever since outgoing United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had revealed that he had asked to leave the club. Although Rooney and his camp have denied that the player has handed in a formal request to leave, it is expected that he will do so now in order to push through a move to Chelsea where Jose Mourinho has already promised him to make the main man.

Wayne Rooney signed for Manchester United as an 18 year old from boyhood club Everton in 2004 and since then, he has fallen out with Moyes, who sold him to Manchester United and this is seen as another reason for his reluctance to play for United.

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United won’t cash in on Wayne Rooney

Manchester United will not be selling star forward Wayne Rooney to Chelsea or any other club this summer even if they land their prime transfer target Cesc Fabregas or another front man to lead the team’s charge ahead of the new season.

Rooney is adamant that he will not wear a United shirt again after a breakdown in his relationship with the club and although the club has maintained a strong stance that the England international forward is not for sale, there is an overwhelming sense in the club’s pre-season program that if they managed to find a like for like replacement for the third highest goal scorer in the club’s history, United might consider cashing in on a player who has failed to match the expectations when he was brought to the club as a teenager in 2004 for a whopping £ 26 million fee.

United manager David Moyes has categorically denied that the club is thinking about selling one of their prized assets but insiders believe if United trigger the buy-out clause of Marouane Fellaini, who was so successful under Moyes at Everton and manage to prize Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas, they might as well let go of Wayne Rooney who still has two years left on his current contract.

There are also beliefs that if United are successful in bringing anyone of their two primary targets Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo – their policy on the summer transfer deals – including the one they have on Rooney will change radically.

Moyes also confirmed that the player is doing well in his bid to regain full fitness ahead of United’s final pre-season friendly against AIK in Stockholm and has insisted that Wayne Rooney will not be sold, either to Chelsea or any other club in the world and will remain at Old Trafford.

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ROONEY IS READY

Wayne Rooney is likely to be included in the starting XI of Manchester United for the Premier League match against Norwich City which is going to be played on Saturday at Old Trafford.

Rooney was expected to be rested before the all important Champions League match against Real Madrid, but, according to the reports, Sir Alex Ferguson doesn’t want Rooney to go into the match against Madrid without having enough match practice. That’s why; he will include Rooney in the starting line up for the match against Norwich City.

Rooney has struggled with his health recently. He had been out of action for a few days because of a sinus problem. He missed the match against Reading. In the next match against QPR, he didn’t get included in the starting XI, but, he came onto the field as a substitute in the 62nd minute.

However, most of the senior United players including Robin Van Persie, Patrice Evra, Rafael da Silva, Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick are expected to be given rest in the match against Norwich City.

Persie had injured his back while playing in the match against QPR and had come off the field in the 41st minute. Sir Alex Ferguson would not want to take any risk before the match against Madrid. So, Persie is almost certain to miss the match against Norwich City.

When asked about the fitness of Persie, Sir Alex Ferguson said, “Robin is not 100% fit at this point of time. But, there are still 9 days to go before the match against Real Madrid. We are hoping that he would get fit till that time.”

In the match against Norwich, United will again have the opportunity to increase its lead over Manchester City to 15 points. Currently, United is 12 points ahead of City.

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