MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Mar 4 – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho addressed rumours that club captain Wayne Rooney was considering a move back to Everton at the end of the season.
Toffees manager Ronald Koeman sparked a flurry of speculation on earlier in the week when he suggested Rooney might make an unexpected return to Goodison Park.
Mourinho used his pre-match press conference on Friday to indicate the 31-year-old still had an important role to play at the club.
“So I start without questions, okay,” the Portuguese mentor said.
“So Wayne Rooney to Everton, I can only say that in the final with the result at 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. So he is not the player you play in the last minute, not the player to give him a gift to be in the winning final, he is a player you trust and are probably going to make him your crucial change, the last one.”
However, with just 16 months remaining on his contract, if Everton were to make a good enough offer in the off-season, the Red Devils might be tempted to sell the star rather than risk losing him for free at the end of next season.