Manchester United are ready to waive a fee for Wayne Rooney as they look to smooth his departure from Old Trafford.
Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford was pictured outside Everton chairman Bill Kenwright’s London offices on Wednesday afternoon as they thrashed out a contract with the 31-year-old, who is currently on £230,000 a week at Old Trafford.
Sportsmail reported on May 12 how United were using Everton’s interest in Rooney to help them in their bid to sign Romelu Lukaku.
United on Wednesday night agreed a £75million deal for Lukaku, which will include a sell-on fee to Chelsea, and possible add-ons.
Everton had been prepared to spend £10m on Rooney with £150,000 a week on wages. However, United’s willingness to let him go for free allows more leeway on wage negotiations which are likely to involve commercial revenue also.
Rooney had one year left on contract at United with an option for a further year. He had originally held talks with Everton in March as it became clear his time at United was coming to a close with Jose Mourinho failing to see him as a first team regular, despite his influence on the dressing room.
Rooney returned to his Cheshire home earlier this week following an extended family holiday in Mykonos, where he mulled over his future amid lucrative offers from the Chinese Super League.
But while England’s record goalscorer could have continued earning huge money in the Far East, staying in England with his family and starring for his beloved Everton in the Premier League proved too powerful a prospect.
Re-signing Rooney will be another significant statement from Everton, who have led the way in Europe this summer by spending £90m on goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, defender Michael Keane, midfielder Davy Klaassen and forward Sandro Ramirez.