Jose Mourinho wants Wayne Rooney to stay at Manchester United next season, amid reports linking the player with an emotional return to Everton.
Rooney began his career with his boyhood club at Goodison Park, but caused heartbreak in the blue half of Merseyside when he left for United in the summer of 2004. The forward has gone on to become the Reds all-time leading goalscorer, a feat he has also achieved for England, and has won five Premier League titles, a UEFA Champions League, an FA Cup and three League Cups.
However, the Old Trafford skipper has lost his place as an automatic starter under Mourinho this season, and was heavily linked with a lucrative move to the Chinese Super League last month. Rooney, though, decided to remain at United and help their cause on four fronts, and his manager also hopes he opts to stay next season and see out the remainder of his contract at the club.
“Until the end of season, 100 per cent he is with us,” said Mourinho. “Next season, 100 per cent I’d like him to be with us but I don’t give you 100 per cent as always the player is very important. I am the kind of manager who likes his players to be happy.”
Rooney didn’t get on the pitch as United beat Southampton 3-2 in the League Cup final on Sunday, although he was about to be called into action prior to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s late winner. The 31-year-old will once more be in contention when the Premier League resumes on Saturday against Bournemouth, and Mourinho believes such involvement answers the interest from Everton.
“So Wayne Rooney to Everton, I only can say that in the final with the result 2-2 with the team in difficulties, with the team possibly going to play 40 more minutes Rooney was ready to go into the pitch,” Mourinho said. “He’s selected for tomorrow with possibilities to play. I think by giving you these two little big details I’m telling you all the talk about Everton for me makes no sense.”
Despite these comments, Everton are likely to make a move for their former player when the window reopens in the summer. In the meantime, Rooney will focus on helping United add to their League Cup success in the FA Cup and Uefa Europa League, and they could take a big step in their bid for a top-four finish if they can overcome Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth at Old Trafford.