MANCHESTER: Wayne Rooney has insisted that he has not returned to Everton for a “retirement home” after completing his move back to Goodison Park from Manchester United.
The former England captain, who will be 32 in October, signed a two-year contract at his boyhood club following his departure from Old Trafford on a free transfer, 13 years after arriving at United.
Rooney started just 25 games for United last season and lost his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad, but despite the most disappointing campaign of his career, he says he can prove himself once again with Everton.
“I always play like I have a point to prove,” Rooney told a news conference. “I’m not coming back into a retirement home. I want to play and I want to win.
“I feel good, and my fitness will build up. I’m excited. It’s a challenge, and it is the right time in my career for it.
“With Ronald [Koeman’s] ideas and the players the club is bringing in, it’s on us to do well. We want to win trophies, but it’s down to us as players to do that.”
Meanwhile, striker Romelu Lukaku has posted a farewell message to Everton and its fans as he moves closer to completing a switch to Premier League giants Manchester United.
The Belgium international scored 53 league goals in 110 appearances for Everton since 2014 and was close to winning the league’s Golden Boot award last season with 25 goals, four behind Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane.
“I want to say a big thank you to all the people involved at Everton. I want to thank the fans for your support throughout the 4 years we’ve spend together,” Lukaku said on Instagram.
“You guys helped me through all my games and I can proudly say it was an honour to play in front of you. To the staff at the stadium and training ground thank you for making me feel home from the first day I walked in.
“To my teammates it was great to play with you guys… Working with you guys has been a pleasure and I’ll take your advice throughout the rest of my career. Thank you Everton Football Club.”
United confirmed that they had agreed a fee for the 24-year-old on Saturday with British media reporting it to be around 75 million pounds.
Lukaku will also reunite with United manager Jose Mourinho, under whom he played at Chelsea.