Having completed another two big transfers this week, it has been suggested that Everton could now turn their attention to signing Wayne Rooney.
The Toffees had already taken Holland international midfielder Davy Klaassen from Ajax for £23million and spent a club record £30million on Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford this summer, as well as securing a deal for young Nigerian striker Henry Onyekuru, from Belgian side Eupen, although the £6.8million addition will spend this season on loan at Anderlecht.
And now Ronald Koeman has further flexed his financial clout by taking Spain Under-21 international striker Sandro Ramirez from Malaga for £5.2million, and splashing out £25million for Burnley defender Michael Keane. And according to talkSPORT and Sky Sports presenter Jim White, the Toffees will now turn their attention to their former teenage star Rooney.
The forward left Goodison Park for Manchester United in 2004, and he was for some time vilified by the supporters of his hometown club. But there is little doubt that this £25.6million deal has given the player all he wanted, as he has won five Premier League titles, an FA Cup, three League Cups, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League as well as becoming their all-time top goalscorer.
Relations towards the 31-year-old have softened in the blue half of Merseyside in recent times, though, and he has never hidden his love for the club. At the same time, his standing at Old Trafford has taken a sharp dive in terms of his importance to the first team, and if he stays for the final year of contract, the chances are he would be little more than a squad player for Jose Mourinho.
Rooney, who even pulled on the famous blue jersey for Duncan Ferguson’s testimonial in August 2015, has gone on record as to say he would not play for another Premier League side other than United and Everton. He would have to take a significant pay cut to return to Goodison Park, unless it is negotiated that his current employers also contribute towards his salary.
Meanwhile, Keane has spoken of his joy at moving to the nine-time league champions. The England international was linked with a return to United in recent weeks, but despite the pull of his boyhood club, the 24-year-old felt his career would be better served with a move to Everton where he will find regular first team football and get the chance to learn from Koeman.
“He used to play in my position,” Keane told Sky Sports. “I have been fortunate enough that in the clubs I have played in the past, the manager has played in my position as well and I feel like he was a very classy centre-half so he can still teach me things. I want to develop, I am only 24, which is young for a centre-half but I feel how much they wanted me was a big factor as well.”
The arrival of Keane was confirmed just hours after Ramirez was unveiled as an Everton player. The 21-year-old striker scored 16 goals in 31 appearances for Malaga last season, and was also thought to be on the shopping list of Italian giants Juventus. But the Spaniard opted for a switch to Everton, who he feel are the ideal club for his development at this stage of his career.
“I’m very happy, this is a big step in my career,” he told the official club website. “I know I’m signing for a massive club in England. Everton is the ideal place for me, I’ve got the ideal manager who is going to keep giving me the confidence to improve my game. I cannot wait to wear the blue shirt in front of the Everton fans at Goodison Park, for a club which is really on the up.”