BBC Sport has monitored the daily developments in the life of Wayne Rooney since his exploits at Euro 2004.
Here is how the last few months have panned out for the 18-year-old...
03.10.04 BACK TO EARTH
Rooney's Premiership debut does not quite match the heights of his Champions League exploits.
United struggle at home to Middlesbrough, with Wayne not quite firing on all cylinders. Alan Smith comes off the bench to earn them a 1-1 draw.
Wayne looked tired towards the end but his sharpness will no doubt be helped by getting through another 90
He is later named in England's 23-man party for the World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Azerbaijan.
30.09.04 BREAKING THE LAW
Manchester United legend Denis Law believes Rooney is going to break all his goalscoring records at Old Trafford.
Law said: "He has the ability and goal power to beat my 18 hat-tricks and as for my 46 in a season, I don't see any reason why he can't overtake that one day either. Eventually he'll have all the records."
28.09.04 RAMPANT ROONEY'S DEBUT DELIGHT
Having not kicked a ball in anger since limping out of Euro 2004, Rooney was expected to take his place on the bench for United's Champions League game against Fenerbahce.
But Sir Alex Ferguson just could not resist starting him, and Rooney quickly began paying back his transfer fee with an astonishing hat-trick on his Red Devils' debut in a 6-2 victory.
A left-foot screamer, a right-foot piledriver and a delightful curling free-kick earned Rooney a top drawer treble and news of his feat will have sent shockwaves throughout Europe.
20.09.04 STILL SIDELINED
The rumour-mill had gone into overdrive prior to United's home league game against Liverpool, with the suggestion that Rooney would play some part for the first time since his £27m move.
But the 18-year-old was once again absent from the squad as Rio Ferdinand made his comeback and United beat their fierce rivals 2-1.
19.09.04 FERGUSON WELCOMES ROONEY RETURN
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has denied that he will block Rooney from playing for England in their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Azerbaijan.
Rooney is set to return to action after his broken foot and Ferguson said playing for England could help his recovery from the injury that he picked up at Euro 2004.
Ferguson said: "It might be good for the boy because he really needs games now."
England face a home game against Wales on 9 October before a trip to Azerbaijan four days later.
13.09.04 ROONEY RETURNS TO TRAINING
Rooney's return to full training is a boost to injury-stricken Manchester United.
The England striker kicks a ball for the first time since his injury in Euro 2004, hinting that he may be ahead of schedule and providing Man United with a dilemma.
They were hoping to hold him back until 13 October, which would have put him out of England's World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Azerbaijan.
But Rooney could be knocking on the door before that, possibly as soon as the game against Liverpool.
04.09.04 ROONEY TARGETS COMEBACK DATE
Although he is still three weeks away from a full recovery from the broken bone in his foot picked up in Euro 2004, Rooney has his eyes on England's World Cup qualifier against Wales.
Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson claims Rooney could have a similar impact to Eric Cantona in terms of sparking a new era of dominance for Manchester United.
"I can see Wayne having the same impact as Eric had on the team when I signed him," says Sir Alex, who also claims Rooney is "the best youngster I have seen in 30 years as a manager.".
31.08.04 FERGIE GETS HIS MAN
Manchester United finalise the signing of Wayne Rooney from Everton in a deal which could be worth £27m.
United will pay Everton a guaranteed £20m, with that sum rising by as much as £7m, according to the 18-year-old striker's appearances and achievements.
Rooney has signed a six-year contract which will tie him to Old Trafford until 30 June 2010.
29.08.04 STRIKER DISAPPOINTED
Rooney is "gutted" and "disappointed" at Everton's handling of his transfer request and now there seems no way back even if he wanted.
"I'm disappointed at some of the things that Everton have said, especially considering that I know the truth," says the incensed 18-year-old.
28.08.04 MAN UTD UP OFFER
United put in another bid - believed to be £25m - as the race hots up with transfer deadline day approaching.
Everton are at home to West Brom and the Goodison Park faithful let Rooney know they are not happy with the teenage prodigy as they chant abuse at him.
One fan has a banner telling the striker to stand by the t-shirt which he once unveiled after scoring a goal and read: "Once A Blue Always A Blue".
27.08.04 ROONEY MAKES HIS MOVE
The 18-year-old issues a statement with the words every Everton fan dreaded: "I feel now is the right time to move forward with my career."
Rooney's transfer request means by Tuesday he will be playing for another club - but will it be Manchester United or Newcastle United?
26.08.04 UNITED UP THE STAKES
Manchester United officially enter the race for Rooney by lodging a bid of £20m, which Everton unsurprisingly reject as it fails to improve on Newcastle's effort.
On the same day, the Magpies up their offer to £23.5m, which is also snubbed by the Goodison Park club.
If Everton are now resigned to losing their star man, the auction can only be good news as the price gets higher and higher.
24.08.04 TOON FOR ROON?
Wayne is back on the back pages as Newcastle offer £20m for his services. Everton turn down the bid, as they want £30m.
With a week left until the transfer window slams shut, will other clubs join Newcastle in an auction?
22.08.04 ROONEY ON THE RUN
The Everton striker is told he can start running again after an X-ray reveals his broken metatarsal is healing well.
Rooney has not played since limping out of England's quarter-final tie against Portugal in Euro 2004.
Meanwhile Rooney has admitted visiting prostitutes when he was "young and stupid."
The England star made the admission after the Sunday Mirror claimed he visited massage parlours in Liverpool.
"Foolish as it now seems I did on occasions visit massage parlours and prostitutes."
12.08.04 FRIENDLY ADVICE
Former Everton star Francis Jeffers has advised Wayne Rooney to leave Goodison Park.
Jeffers, who has joined Charlton, believes such a decision would be best for cash-strapped Everton and the England international.
6.08.04 THE END IS NIGH?
There might be an end to the Wayne Rooney contract saga on the horizon.
The teenager is understood to be close to signing a new, five-year contract worth £50,000 per week at Everton.
It would be a major boost for Everton, and a disappointment for some of Europe's biggest clubs, not to mention Fleet Street.
3.08.04 OUT OF HIS BOX
Even amidst the furore at the FA, the tabloids still find time to stoke the Rooney fires, with the Daily Mirror revealing that Wayne has cancelled his booking for an executive box at Everton.
This is, we are told, "fresh evidence Rooney could soon be moving on".
1.08.04 PRICED OUT OF THE MARKET?
Manchester United chief executive David Gill suggests his club will not part with upwards of £30m for Rooney.
But it's not all good news for Everton fans.
Gill goes on to admit that he could "understand why we're linked with Rooney - he's an exceptional young player and he's English."
27.07.04 LOSER IN LOVE
Rooney gets his first experience of the negative side of being one of the country's biggest stars when a tabloid leads with the news that he has split up with his fiancée.
Rooney apparently delays flying to joining Everton's pre-season training camp in America to sort out his love life.
Things look up when he is pictured kissing Coleen and his spokesman insists "they are together".
25.07.04 MOYES RELISHES CHALLENGE
Despite Patrick Vieira hogging most of the column inches in the Sunday papers, there is always room for some Rooney gossip.
On this occasion it is Everton boss David Moyes saying what a "terrific challenge" he has to persuade the teenager to sign his contract.
Still no word from Wayne though ...
22.07.04 WAITING GAME
It seems Wayne has the world at his feet but he's in no rush to make a decision about his future just yet.
Rooney may even keep Everton waiting until the end of August before deciding to make his next move.
He's even reported to have grilled the Everton board with 50 awkward questions to test the Goodison hierarchy's resolve - and to check if they really can afford to pay him £50,000 every week.
20.07.04 UP FOR GRABS
Everton director Paul Gregg tells the BBC the club are considering the sale of their prized asset, but that it is "incredibly sad" they have to do so.
The admission looks likely to spark a bidding war for Rooney with Manchester United, Real Madrid and Chelsea set to be at the forefront of the action.
19.07.04 FILLING THE TOFFEES' COFFERS
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright admits selling the boy wonder would "revitalise" the Goodison Park club's ailing finances.
The Toffees supremo also says Rooney signing the five-year contract he has been offered would "revitalise" the club, but the inference is clear.
If Everton receive a substantial offer for the 18-year-old sensation, they would almost certainly be forced to sell.
13.07.04 NO REAL DEAL
Another day another transfer link - only this time a denial after stories claiming Rooney's agent Paul Stretford flew to Spain to sound out Real Madrid president Florentino Perez about a possible move to the Bernabeu.
Stretford's company Proactive issues a statement insisting that he has never met Perez in his life.
11.07.04 PLEASE DON'T GO
It's Sunday, which means the newspapers are full of stories about the future of Rooney.
Everton boss David Moyes is refusing to believe Rooney's departure is a foregone conclusion and vows to do everything he can to keep him - even offering him the captain's armband within the next couple of years.
The Mail on Sunday claim Newcastle are lining up a shock £30m move for Wayne.
Meanwhile, the News of the World say Wayne has infuriated the Everton board with a letter demanding to see the debt-ridden club's finances.
09.07.04 MONEY TALKS
Rooney is still recovering from his broken metatarsal but his representatives have been to Everton to discuss their offer of a new five-year contract.
But the discussions are believed to be at an early stage and there is a feeling Wayne and his management company are unlikely to be in a rush to sign away the next five years of his life.
08.07.04 WILL HE STAY?
Everton boss David Moyes turns up the pressure on Rooney to accept the deal at Goodison Park, appealing to the life-long fan to "repay" the club for giving him the opportunity to develop his talent.
But as Rooney considers this advice, England team-mate - and Manchester United full-back - Gary Neville suggests it is "feasible" the 18-year-old could join another club.
Leading agent Jon Smith, meanwhile, thinks Everton's efforts to keep the striker are doomed.
07.07.04 BETWEEN THE STICKS
As Rooney mulls over his contract offer from Everton, he gives the latest in the series of daily interviews with The Sun, in which he reveals how he liked to play in goal as a youngster.
06.07.04 NEW DEAL
Time for Everton to try to keep their main man.
Rooney is offered a new five-year contract - the biggest ever offered by the Toffees to a player.
But is Rooney being backed into a corner?
Everton want him to stay at Goodison but if the offer is rejected then get set for a mass scramble for his signature.
06.07.04 REAL CHANCE?
Rooney, as he recovers from his broken foot, continues his series of exclusive interviews with The Sun newspaper.
He reveals how he almost quit football earlier in his career, because he wanted to "hang" with his friends, and warns those who have criticised England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson since the country's Euro 2004 exit.
"I think Sven is a great manager. I have worked with him for just over a year and, although he isn't as loud as some managers, he definitely gets his views across.
"If he needs to tell you something he gets his message across - and all the
players respect the way he works."
Meanwhile, hours after Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said there was no room at Stamford Bridge for Rooney, Real Madrid presidential candidate Arturo Baldasano claims he will find the money to buy the teenager if he is elected.
04.07.04 PAPER TIGER
The nation wakes up to find Rooney and fiancée Coleen sharing a kiss on the front page of the News of the World.
In a "world exclusive", the paper quotes Wayne telling of how he proposed on a petrol station forecourt.
He also details how they met as he fixed Coleen's bicycle, and how they celebrated their engagement by watching EastEnders.
29.06.04 CULTURAL REVIEW
Now our hero finds himself the subject of an essay by Ellis Cashmore, Professor of Culture, Media and Sport.
Is Wayne Rooney the new Beckham? This leading football academic is unconvinced, but at least the attention goes on.
Meanwhile, newspapers continue to suggest the teenager is on his way to Manchester United. Reports claim Everton are unimpressed by what they claim is a reluctance from Rooney to discuss his new contract.
28.06.04 THE SUN ALWAYS SHINES ON TV
Rooney continues to dominate the television schedules - with a half-hour current affairs programme dedicated to him on Monday evening.
BBC's Real Story programme spent the night of the Portugal v England match - in which Rooney was injured before England crashed out - at the Everton striker's local pub in Liverpool.
Fans starved of live football for the first evening since the start of Euro 2004 - and wondering what the future holds for the teenage prodigy - were able to tune in for an assessment of Wayne's world.
Meanwhile, Portugal defender Jorge Andrade - who was involved in the collision that caused Rooney's injury - wishes him all the best.
"I had an injury like that once. I hope he is back soon because football needs players like him," Andrade said.
27.06.04 SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?
The Sunday papers are full of stories about where England's teenage superstar will be playing this season.
According to some reports Rooney has told close friends that he wants to join Manchester United rather than Chelsea because he wants to stay in the north-west.
The Sunday Mirror says Everton have conceded defeat in their attempts to
hold on to Rooney, but the Toffees' chief executive Trevor Birch is still confident the club will keep their young star.
Birch plans to sit down with Rooney and his agent in the hope of getting the 18-year-old to agree a new contract at Goodison Park and put an end to the rumours of him leaving.
26.06.04 TAKE A BREAK
It gets even worse for England's very latest sporting superstar.
Everton physio Mick Rathbone reveals Rooney must rest for three to four weeks even before he can begin his rehabilitation from the broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot.
This means the 18-year-old sensation will miss the start of the Premiership season and perhaps even a month of it.
Perhaps more crucially, it is certain to dampen speculation surrounding Rooney's future at Goodison Park with the teenager having been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea.
Blues owner Roman Abramovich is unlikely to splash out a reported £50m plus on Rooney while he is recuperating from a broken bone and may postpone any proposed swoop.
The only good news is for Arsenal - Rooney will miss the season's opener with the champions at Goodison Park.
25.06.04 OH DEAR, HOW DID IT COME TO THIS?
Almost inevitably, the Wayne Rooney story has taken a nasty twist.
It is the morning after the night before for our hero - and he is hobbling around the team hotel on crutches.
Just when everything was rosy chez Rooney, fate intervened in the quarter-final with Portugal.
He started the match in his best bullish form, providing England with the perfect spearhead to their attacks as they took an early lead.
But a seemingly innocuous challenge by Jorge Andrade proved to be more serious than at first sight.
Our hero was soon limping, it became clear he could not carry on and he was eventually replaced by Darius Vassell.
Without their inspirational starlet, England went into their shells, Portugal took control and the match went into extra time and penalties.
Rooney was missed in open play and in the shoot-out, as Portugal held their nerve to win.
Meanwhile, Wayne was taken to hospital where an X-ray revealed a broken metatarsal. He will be out for a month.
This was not the fairytale finish that had been billed.
Surely it didn't have to end like this?
24.06.04 FROM GAZZA TO WAZZA
The day of the quarter-final and our young hero awakes to a new nickname.
According to the press, he will be forever known as "Wazza" - in deference to a certain Mr Gascoigne, who was the last England player to spark fan mania at a major tournament, back in 1990.
The tabloids are frothing with anticipation at the prospect of the Portugal clash.
The Mirror - clearly not mindful of their reputation for mocking up pictures - leads with a montage of Rooney shoving a burger into Luis Figo's mouth, alongside the headline "Quarter pounding".
Apparently it's all to do with suggestions in the Portuguese press that Rooney is too fat and too enamoured with fast food.
The host nation are not taking the "Wazza" bait from Fleet Street's finest - instead they are persisting with their own nickname, "McRooney".
23.06.04 IT'S ALL IN THE NAME
After the comparisons with Pele, it was inevitable the great man himself would get in on the act, with the Brazilian legend describing Rooney as an "exciting talent with composure beyond his years".
But Chelsea have shrugged off speculation about a £50m move for the Everton star, with chief executive Peter Kenyon preferring to focus on his England team-mate Steven Gerrard.
The big news though is that a pub in Devon has changed its name in honour of the nation's new hero. The Half Moon in Paignton will now be known as the Half Roon.
Elsewhere, a team of scientists have compared Rooney's skills with that of Mozart - while a "top dating agency" has decided that Rooney's distinctive features are giving new hope to "round-faced singletons".
And just to prove that the world really is going mad, a spread-betting firm has opened a market on the number of babies who will be named Wayne by their parents this year.
In 2003 only 43 babies in the UK were named Wayne. The smart money suggests that this year there could be as many as 200 of the lucky lads...
22.06.04 'THE NEW PELE'
Rooney mania has officially broken out.
The British press is predictably crammed full of the 18-year-old, with his face all over the front and back pages.
Eriksson helps fan the media frenzy. His description of Rooney as the best young player since Pele sparks fierce debate across the country.
Even Wimbledon champion Serena Williams gets in on the act, with the announcement that she is a huge fan of Rooney.
"He's a sweetie," she says, revealing a hitherto unknown passion for football.
21.06.04 DOUBLE TROUBLE
Another England game, another two goals for young Wayne.
This time Rooney runs the show, grabbing the match by the scruff of the neck after Croatia take a shock early lead.
He sets up Paul Scholes before slamming two superb strikes to inspire Sven's men to a 4-2 victory which takes them into the quarter-finals.
He leaves the field to a huge ovation - and is named man of the match for the second game in a row.
17.06.04 SWISS BLISS
If his performance against France was impressive, Rooney moves up another gear against Switzerland.
He scores once in each half - the first a close-range header, the second a thundering drive - to lead England to a 3-0 win.
In doing so he becomes the youngest player ever to score in the European Championships.
13.06.04 FRENCH LESSON
Rooney begins Euro 2004 as England's second string striker - he remains very much the apprentice to master Michael Owen, who has seen it all before at the highest level.
But all that is about to change as the Evertonian manages an eye-catching display in his first match at a major tournament.
With England leading 1-0 against the defending champions, a powerful run by Rooney is only ended when he is felled in the area.
But David Beckham's penalty is saved and England suffer an injury-time capitulation with Zinedine Zidane scoring twice - but only after Rooney has been controversially replaced by Emile Heskey.