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Rooney agrees ‘deal in principle’ to move to DC United: reports

AFP, LONDON

Everton striker Wayne Rooney warms up before their English Premier League soccer match against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium in London on Jan. 13.

Photo: AFP

Wayne Rooney has agreed a “deal in principle” to join Major League Soccer (MLS) side DC United from Premier League club Everton, reports said on Thursday.

It has been suggested a £12.5 million (US$16.91 million) deal has been agreed that could see the 32-year-old leave his boyhood club just 12 months after rejoining them from Manchester United.

Reports say Rooney has been offered a contract until the end of the 2020 season, although the MLS transfer window does not open until July.

“In MLS, you have always some iconic players that are going to end their careers there,” said Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who coached Rooney in his final season at Old Trafford.

“You had [Steven] Gerrard, [Frank] Lampard, [Patrick] Vieira ... now you have Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], you have Wayne, so I hope he enjoys [it],” Mourinho said. “Of course, he will bring the attention that MLS needs to attract more people, to steal some people from the other sports that more Americans like.”

DC United are currently rock-bottom of the MLS Eastern Conference table with five points from seven games.

Everton manager Sam Allardyce earlier this week said he wanted England’s and Manchester United’s record goalscorer to see out the final year of his contract next season.

“There have been rumors about Wayne going abroad — China or America. It would have to be massive for him to want leave Everton,” the Toffees boss told talkSPORT.

Allardyce and Rooney have had their differences and the player’s show of dissent when substituted in April’s Merseyside derby resulted in clear-the-air talks between the pair.

Rooney, who first burst onto the scene at Everton at the age of just 16, is the club’s top scorer this season with 11 goals, but he has not scored since Dec. 18 last year.

Allardyce has played him in a midfield role in the second half of the season in an attempt to inject some creativity into the team, but that has affected the player’s personal form and led to growing frustration.

The former England captain last year left United on a free transfer following 13 trophy-laden years after becoming a peripheral figure under Mourinho.

He talked at that time about how he wanted to play a part in Everton winning silverware after a long trophy drought, dating back to their 1995 FA Cup win.

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