Everton would be wrong to ignore Rooney opportunity, admits director of football Walsh

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The Manchester United striker continues to be linked with a return to his roots this summer, and the Toffees are prepared to leave the door open

Everton director of football Steve Walsh considers Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney to be “one of the greatest players” and admits it would be wrong for the Toffees to ignore a potential deal for the striker.

The England captain continues to see his future at Old Trafford called into question, having lost his place as a regular starter under Jose Mourinho.

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He recently moved to bring an end to the rumours suggesting that he was destined to head to the Chinese Super League, with the riches on offer in Asia being ignored for now.

At 31 years of age, the general consensus is that Rooney still has plenty to offer in one of Europe’s top divisions.

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Everton would be the only club capable of keeping him in the Premier League, and they intend to keep the door open for a remarkable homecoming this summer.

"Wayne Rooney is one of the greatest players that has ever played the game in England and for us not to be interested would be wrong. He started his career here and if the opportunity arose that he could come back and it sat well with everyone it is something we would consider," Walsh told Sky Sports News.

Wayne Rooney Manchester United 2016

"He is a class apart, he sees things, and all the things that have been said about Wayne are true. He comes into that category of being one of England's greatest ever players, so why wouldn't we be interested? I think the whole thing would be euphoric. I think we could sell a lot of shirts, that's for sure.

"But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Wayne is contracted to Manchester United and made a decision to continue to play for them. Let's wait and see what happens in the future."

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Rooney left Everton for United in a big-money move back in the summer of 2004.

He had netted 17 times in 77 appearances for the Toffees, and has gone on to score a record-breaking 250 goals for the Red Devils.

Mourinho has, however, handed him just eight Premier League starts this season, with a bit-part role taken on at Old Trafford.

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