879: PREMIERSHIP: Selling Rooney co
by : Chris Sherrard
Wayne Rooney has gone from not-very-well-kept local secret to superstar striker this month and almost inevitably has been linked with money-spinning moves to Chelsea, Manchester United and countless other venues, as a result. His club, such is their financial position at present, may have no alternative but to cash in on their golden boy while he is at his hottest.
David Moyes and his chairman, Bill Kenwright, must have been dreading their young star having such a blistering tournament for his country and that’s not merely because Moyes is Scottish. They will have known that the prying, coveting eyes of the richest and most powerful clubs in world football would be firmly fixed on events in Portugal. None can have missed Rooney’s contribution.
Already, talk of massive bids sailing through the fax machine at Goodison Park are rife. Bids for Rooney are inevitable now. That leaves Everton with a conundrum the like of which Richard Whitely could only dream of throwing up; sell their best player or rot at the bottom of the table again? For the Toffees it is that simple. They have been struggling with the same cash-crisis epidemic which has afflicted a lot of clubs in this country. A once mighty club, it is perhaps telling that no-one is surprised anymore when they are flirting with relegation, as has been the case more times than not lately. Something has to change if they are to get back some of the pride which has been lost.
£30 million or more which seems to be the most realistic estimation of Rooney’s worth at the minute would go a very long way in a club like Everton. It would give Moyes the opportunity to bring in a handful of much-needed defenders. He could afford a creative midfielder and a tricky winger. He could transform a side which has been going nowhere, fast. Selling Wayne Rooney would be an incredibly difficult decision to make, but it could mean the difference between success and failure.
Many will argue, with some justification, that Everton’s best chance of achieving anything again lies with Rooney in the side. In an ideal world, that is what would happen but with no money to spend how are they going to build that team? In Rooney’s position, the Toffees are not so badly off. Tomas Radzinski and Kevin Campbell are able strikers whilst the signing of Marcus Bent for under £500,000 is a good piece of business. They also have James McFadden in the squad, who should go on another level this season, given the chance.
Everton will have to be realistic. Selling their star player to Chelsea or Manchester United would not be as catastrophic has it once would have been. They are no longer in contention with the big sides, they have their own battle to fight further down the table. An injection of cash would help significantly.
Wayne Rooney, a dye-in-the-wool Blue, would not relish the prospect of leaving the club he has supported all his life to start a new career in pastures new at such a tender age. He would want to be at Goodison when the good times start to roll again. The trouble is, without the money from his sale, that could be quite a way off. The most likely scenario is that Everton will fend off all bids for Rooney this summer and see how the new campaign goes. If they are no further on by next May then they will be forced to bow to the inevitable and let the teenage superstar leave. That’s where the dilemma comes in; his price is rarely going to get higher than it is this summer. That leaves the decision makers in the blue half of Liverpool with plenty to ponder in the forthcoming weeks.