Last updated : 29 August 2004 By Editor

A quote from the boy himself

"I am absolutely gutted at what is happening here. It is clear that it's time for me to leave Everton.

"I am disappointed at some of the things that have been said by Everton, especially considering that I know the truth.

"All clubs sell players, even Manchester United and Arsenal."


"It is unlikely anything will be concluded before Monday.

"I definitely think it is unlikely. Everton are obviously going to try to get as much as they can out of it, we have got a price and we will not be going above that.

"Monday is a Bank Holiday so medicals are going to be difficult but you have a full day to do that.

"There is a 12 o'clock deadline on Tuesday so really you have got a whole day to get the medical done.

"We know where we are but that is David Gill's job at the end of the day.

"He is the one who is negotiating, he and Bill Kenwright will be the ones who decide the price not David Moyes and me.

"We have both got our views and David (Moyes) in particular has obviously got his views. It is very difficult."

David Gill

"It's not just the size of Manchester United - but Wayne would have the chance to work with Sir Alex, who has a track record when it comes to dealing with young players and making them even better.

"Wayne would also be playing alongside world-class players like Ruud van Nistelrooy and Paul Scholes.

"And his commercial value would be enhanced by becoming a Manchester United player.

"No disrespect to Newcastle, but we can also offer Wayne Champions League football.

"We would hope Wayne would want to come here and we have a powerful all-round package to offer him.

"We hope something can be sorted out before Tuesday's deadline."

Sunday Mirror

Wayne Rooney's relationship with Everton finally reached breaking point last night.

Rooney believes Everton have tried to turn the fans against him - and his agent Paul Stretford has had to increase his personal security after receiving death threats.

The crisis reached boiling point as Rooney gave his explosive back -page interview to us - and it was then revealed a THIRD club apart from Newcastle and Manchester United want him.

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright said: "Manchester United have upped their offer. They started at £20m, which was a day after Newcastle bid £20m and seemed a funny way to start.

"But we turned that down, Newcastle went to £23.5m and now Man Utd have upped it a little more.

"You have got to remember we are talking about someone who is very special to Everton."

We can also reveal Manchester United's offer for Rooney is £25m plus their choice of two of four players.

David Bellion is certain to be part of the transfer - and Everton can then have either defender John O'Shea, winger Kieron Richardson or young midfielder Bojan Djordjic.

The Sunday Times

After a week of bid and counterbid, on a backdrop of tabloid headlines, Wayne Rooney is close to a dream move to Old Trafford

Wayne Rooney was on the verge of becoming a Manchester United player last night, despite reports Chelsea were poised to make a last-minute attempt to hijack the £25m deal to take the striker to Old Trafford.

The London club were forced to deny any continuing interest in the England striker after boardroom sources at Goodison Park suggested an 11th-hour bid from Roman Abramovich’s club was in the offing. Chelsea are understood to have made contact with the Rooney camp early last week only to be told the striker would not consider a move to London, and have pulled out of the race. It left United almost certain to secure Rooney after upping their original £20m bid, rejected by Everton last week, to £25m.

United’s new offer was made yesterday afternoon by their chief executive, David Gill, to Bill Kenwright, the Everton chairman. It will be discussed between Kenwright, his fellow directors and his manager, David Moyes, in telephone conversations today, but given Everton have been indicating privately for some time that £25m was their asking price, they are expected to allow United permission to talk to their 18-year-old forward.

A major attraction of the United proposal is the offer to Everton of a highly generous sell-on clause which would entitle them to up to 25% of any future fee, above £25m, United might get for Rooney.

Sir Alex Ferguson hopes to get the England starlet put through a medical at a private hospital in Cheshire tomorrow, so he can be registered in good time for the closing of the transfer deadline on Tuesday.

Responding to reports that his club were poised to make one last-ditch effort to divert Rooney from Old Trafford, Peter Kenyon, the Chelsea chief executive, said "I’ve heard the rumour. There will be nothing happening at Chelsea before the transfer deadline. We are not interested."

The People

Everton last night demanded £26million for want-away striker Wayne Rooney.

They are refusing to be bullied by Manchester United or Newcastle - and have set the sale price, giving the two clubs until Tuesday's transfer deadline to complete a deal.

But teenage superkid Rooney yesterday witnessed how difficult it will be to stay on Merseyside when 'Die Rooney, Die' graffiti was scrawled on a wall at Goodison.

Manchester United have put in an improved offer yesterday for the England international, one that tops Newcastle's £23.5millionbid. But it is still not the £26million Everton are demanding.

But Manchester United chief executive David Gill insisted: "We will not be held to ransom."

"We would hope Wayne would want to come to Old Trafford and we think what we can offer him makes for a powerful package," said Gill. "It's not just the size of Manchester United or the financial strength of the club - we would also be able to offer him the chance to work with Sir Alex Ferguson, a successful manager with a record of developing young players.

"And if Wayne Rooney did come to United then he would become part of a squad that is highly talented.

"We are able to offer him immediate Champions League football, something that he has said is important to him.

"We hope we can have something sorted out before Tuesday's deadline." But Gill repeated that Everton won't force another penny out of United.

"We have reached what we consider to be a market value for the player and we have shown in the past that we will not be held to ransom."

The Observer

Manchester United last night appeared to move a step closer to successfully completing the signing of Wayne Rooney when they lodged an increased £25 million bid for the England striker.

However, it was understood that Everton were awaiting the entrance of a third - as yet unnamed - club to enter what had been a two-horse race between Manchester United and Newcastle United. Of potential English competitors, only Chelsea would appear to have the financial clout to launch such a late attempt.

In a week of high drama surrounding the future of a player who has yet to kick a ball this season due to an injury sustained on international duty during the summer, Manchester chief executive David Gill faxed the offer following his side's 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers early yesterday afternoon.

For the moment, United's increased offer establishes them as favourites to win any two-way auction for the star, despite rumours on Merseyside that Rooney would favour a move to the north-east.

Rooney has claimed that he has handed in his transfer request in order to play in Europe on a regular basis. His approach, and that of his advisers, has drawn an angry response from Everton supporters.

Moyes has continued to insist that Rooney will only be allowed to leave the club at the 'right price' - a figure generally assumed to be in the region of £30m.

The Telegraph

Manchester United nudged ahead of Newcastle in the race to sign Wayne Rooney last night, lodging an improved bid of £25 million for the coveted Everton and England striker.

Rooney requested a move from Goodison Park on Friday, and he seems almost certain to leave before Tuesday's transfer deadline.

Speaking after his Everton's 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion, manager David Moyes said: "I don't know anything about the new bid. I've just come off the field. United don't make the offer to me on a Saturday afternoon so they must have gone to one of the directors." Asked who had the final say over the sale of Rooney, Moyes said: "Ultimately all decisions are made by the manager, but it will be a club decision not the manager's decision."

The latest Red Issue will be on sale again against Everton on Monday. Hurry though because not many remain.

And it's still a bargain at only £1.50.

If you can't make it to Old Trafford or would like a copy beforehand, copies are also available from:

Aleef's newsagent at the top of Piccadilly approach in Manchester.
Sportspages in Manchester (Barton Arcade, off St. Ann's Square)
Sportspage in London (Caxton Walk, off Charing Cross Rd)

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