And so, the worst kept secret in football is out:
Wayne Rooney is heading back to Everton.
Rooney heads back to Merseyside after 13 years at Old Trafford, and the Toffees have confirmed that their former striker has signed a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
The question is: was this the right move for all parties?
For Manchester United, there is little doubt.
Rooney’s role under Jose Mourinho was as something even less significant than a bit part player, with his playing time limited to cameos off the bench following his dropping early on in the season.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 9, 2017
And, on one level, having a player with Rooney’s skill and vision to call upon off the bench is no bad thing, but when one factors in his astronomical wages (thought to be over £300,000 per week), you start to realise that Manchester United need Rooney off the books.
For one thing, Romelu Lukaku won’t be on peanuts, so losing Rooney’s salary from the wage bill will help United to pay their newest star.
Rooney served Manchester United well, and for all the flak he has taken, he leaves Old Trafford as the record breaking all-time top goalscorer – this should never be forgotten.
On another level though, this was a situation that Manchester United never needed to be in. Had David Moyes not been so desperate to curry favour with the star players during his disastrous 8-month tenure, then it seems unlikely that Rooney would still be at United – it was Moyes who sanctioned a brand new five year contract for the forward back in 2013.
For Rooney, the move back home represents a glorious opportunity to start afresh and be the main man in a team that is not a million miles away.
— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) July 9, 2017
Everton have been investing heavily this summer and in Ronald Koeman, they have a forward thinking and ambitious manager who will not settle for midtable.
Should Rooney play himself into one of the key roles at Everton, he has every chance of competing at the top table again.
But is it the right move for Everton?
The answer that question is simple: we’ll have to wait and see which Wayne Rooney starts the new season at Goodison Park.
Will it be the lead-booted striker of the last couple of years, the one who isn’t quite sure of the right position for him, and is found deep far too often?
Or will it be the explosive, energetic and aggressive Rooney that has bamboozled defenders and scored hundreds of goals over the years?
The latter hasn’t been seen for a long time, and if Ronald Koeman can coax him out then Everton have got themselves a bargain. If not, at least they’ll sell some shirts.