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Wayne Rooney details rejecting Chelsea to sign for Manchester United in 2004 – Manchester Evening News

Wayne Rooney has revealed details of the scenario around his move from Everton to Manchester United in 2004, admitting he turned down Chelsea.

Rooney signed for United in a £27.5m deal after shining in the Premier League as a teenager and for England at EURO 2004. He was hotly tipped to be the next big star of English football and Sir Alex Ferguson moved quickly to tie him down to a long-term contract at Old Trafford amid plenty of competition for his signature.

The youngster would go on to have a long and successful career at the club, scoring 253 goals over 13 seasons to become the all-time top scorer in United’s history to surpass the legendary Sir Bobby Charlton.

But after coming under criticism over the years about how he forced a move away by handing in a transfer request, Rooney has spoken about the situation to clarify it all and revealed that it was Everton who orchestrated a move rather than him.

Speaking on a podcast with former world champion boxer Tony Bellew, Rooney said: “I knew before Euro 2004 that I was getting touted around to other teams because Everton needed the money.

“Certain people, other individuals, were going into clubs saying ‘would you take Wayne Rooney for £30m?’. I was heartbroken, I wanted to play for Everton. But once I found out I was just devastated, and I would’ve left at some point to better myself and win trophies but I was devastated. So I thought you know what, okay.

“I was getting pushed to go to Chelsea because Chelsea were offering the most money. But I said you’re not dictating where I go. I want to go to Manchester United. So it was less money for Everton but that’s where I wanted to play. I didn’t want to go to London, to Chelsea, so I took some control back.

“I got told the only way you’re going to Manchester United is if you hand in a transfer request. So I went into the canteen and I wrote ‘I, Wayne Rooney, request a transfer from Everton Football Club’ on a napkin or something, went back into [David] Moyes’ office and said there you go.

“I felt I got backed into a corner to a certain extent but that’s football.”

Rooney suffered a broken foot at the Euros and says after a holiday in Barbados he returned to Everton for training to step up his rehab but was denied the chance in case he aggravated the injury and put any transfer at risk.

“I went to Barbados and when I came back to Bellefield at the time I was ready to go out and start running after my broken foot. I got told no you can’t do that and when I asked why they said because if your foot breaks down again we won’t be able to sell you. They wouldn’t let me do my rehab in case my foot broke down again and they couldn’t get the money for me.

“There’s loads of stuff like that but it worked out well in the end.”

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