The England captain was first spotted playing for Everton Under-14s but rejected the advances of United on two occasions before joining from Everton in 2004.
Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Wayne Rooney rejected Manchester United on two occasions before his £25.6 million move to Old Trafford in 2004.
Rooney first came to the attention of United when their former reserve team coach Jim Ryan spotted the forward playing in a match for Everton Under-14s.
"Jim Ryan came back from one of our academy games at the 14 years level and he said 'I've seen a player' and he said the boy is Wayne Rooney and we tried to get him because there's a window at the end of the season - it's a one week window - where we can entice or approach a boy from another club to come join your academy, but it failed,” Ferguson told ITV.
"The boy wanted to stay at Everton - at that time he had a love of the club and he's an Everton fan.
"When he got to 16 we tried again. We approached him to join as a 16-year-old, but once again he refused. Then I think everyone saw the highlights when he scored that goal against Arsenal. It confirmed exactly exactly what Jim Ryan had said. This boy was going to be a United player."
Ferguson recounted the moment he decided to sign Rooney after the England captain came on as a half-time substitute in Everton’s 4-3 defeat to United at Goodison Park in February 2004.
“He missed a sitter in that game. But he came on as 17-year-old lad,” said the former United boss.
“After that, I had Walter Smith as my assistant and he said 'we've got to get this kid, we've got to get him', and that started the process of the bid. "Eventually we got it done in my office after we played Everton. There was Bill Kenwright, Maurice Watkins and David Moyes, obviously, arguing over the deal and we eventually got it done."
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|