Wayne Rooney’s previous comments on becoming Everton manager have re-emerged in the aftermath of Rafa Benitez’s sacking at the weekend. Rooney is impressively leading Derby County’s battle for survival in the Championship and is thought to be on his boyhood club’s radar as they look to appoint a replacement for Benitez.
According to Sky Sports, Everton initially drew up a six-man shortlist including Duncan Ferguson, Frank Lampard, Rudi Garcia, Graham Potter, Martinez and Rooney.
However, Martinez is now out of the picture whilst Potter ‘isn’t interested’ in opening talks about the vacancy at Goodison Park.
The chances of Rooney being in the Goodison Park dugout have therefore significantly increased with the Toffees’ shortlist seemingly down to four candidates.
But the Premier League legend was coy on speculation when asked about the job at the end of 2021.
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In mid-December, Rooney refused to deny his affiliation with Everton but played down suggestions that he was in talks to become the club’s manager.
He said: “I don’t think I could have missed them, to be honest! I obviously came up through Everton’s Academy, [I’m an] Everton fan, but I see the reports, and I have had no communication with Everton Football Club.
“As far as I am aware, they have got a manager in place, so for me to discuss anything like that, it’s not my place to do that. As I have said, I am committed to this club.
“I’ve had no conversations with Everton Football Club regarding the manager’s job so it’s not even something I’m thinking about.”
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Now the Toffees are managerless, Rooney’s stance on the position could have very well changed.
England and Manchester United’s record goalscorer’s first job in coaching has been touted as the toughest in English football.
Rooney has taken charge at a club in disarray, with Derby also suffering transfer embargoes and a 21-point deduction in the Championship this season.
However, he guided the Rams off the bottom of the league at the weekend, and they are now just eight points from safety.