Manchester United’s record goal scorer, Wayne Rooney, has shed some light on his move to Old Trafford in the 2003/04 season.
The Englishman joined United from Everton in 2004 for just a little over £26 million , but according to him, things could have been very different.
In a recent chat with UTD Podcast, the Derby County coach revealed that despite United’s interest, Everton wanted him to join Chelsea, because they were the ones willing to pay the most money.
“I knew it [joining United] was an option before Euro 2004,” Rooney said. “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.
“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”.
Rooney added, “Once I knew they did want to sign me, it was the only club [for me] as I wanted to work with Sir Alex Ferguson and play with Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, Rio Ferdinand, these players, so I knew where I wanted to go.
The former striker, however, revealed that due to some delay in United’s part, Newcastle United entered the picture, and he did consider the move for a minute.
“It was 40 minutes from my home, where I grew up, as well and it was a perfect fit for me,” he added.
“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 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 salary and what I wanted if I went there was, after a year, if Manchester United come in, you 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.”
Well, looking at how things turned out for both United and the man. This is a move we’re all thankful for.
Rooney scored 17 goals for us in his debut season, but that was just the beginning of his success, as he would go on to finish his United career with more than 250 goals and an incredible 16 trophies.