Wayne Rooney reveals how close he came to switching the alliance from Everton to Newcastle United in 2004.
Rooney eventually moved to Man Utd in 2004 but there were many suitors for his signature. Newcastle was one of them.
After the Euros in 2004, Chelsea showed interest in the young Englishman. Newcastle also joined up the race. However, he wanted a clause to be inserted in the Newcastle contract which would have allowed him to move to Manchester one year later in 2005.
However, he claimed that United didn’t want that option and thus went for him in the same year. “I knew it [joining United] was an option before Euro 2004,” Rooney said on the UTD Podcast.
“I knew Manchester United wanted to sign me. I think going to the Euros, and doing well there, probably added a bit more money onto the transfer fee but I broke my foot and found out a few things.
Once I knew United were interested, I only wanted to go there: Rooney
“Everton were really struggling for money at the time and I found out they were listening to offers from people as well. They were trying to push me to sign for Chelsea because they were going to pay the most money. But, once I knew United were interested, I wanted some confirmation that they did want to sign me.
“Once I knew they did want to sign me, it was the only club [for me]. It was a perfect fit for me. United actually wanted to wait a year, until the following year, but then Newcastle came into talks with Everton and with myself. I’d gone too far then.
“I couldn’t wait for another year, I couldn’t stay another year at Everton, so I was prepared to go to Newcastle for that year.”
“I spoke to them, we spoke about the salary and what I wanted. [I told them if] I went there and Manchester United came in, they’d have to let me go. Newcastle were agreeing to that but obviously, with United, I went back to them and said, if you don’t do it now, I’ll go to Newcastle with a clause in place. United obviously didn’t want me to go there so I came here. It was basically whatever Newcastle paid for me, United would have paid a year later.”