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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 August, 2004, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Man Utd up Rooney bid
Will Wayne Rooney choose Newcastle or Man Utd?
Everton have confirmed that Manchester United have made a second bid for England striker Wayne Rooney.

The club say Manchester United's bid is higher than the 23.5m offer from Newcastle which was rejected last week.

Everton's head of PR Ian Ross told the club's website: "Manchester United made an offer which is in excess of the second bid lodged by Newcastle."

Both United and Newcastle are fighting it out for the 18-year-old who handed in a transfer request on Friday.

Everton, who turned down initial bids of 20m from both clubs last week, insisted Rooney make his request to leave formal before even considering his departure.

The 18-year-old England striker held talks with Goodison Park boss David Moyes on Friday morning and then said: "I hope Everton's fans will understand my decision.

I hope that some day in the future I could be welcomed back to watch the team I have supported since boyhood
Wayne Rooney

"This has been one of the hardest decisions of my life but I feel the time is now right for me to move forward with my career.

"The Euros were a fantastic experience for me. It made me realise I could play at the highest level.

"To do that I need to be with a club that is playing in Europe every year. I hope the Everton fans can come to understand my decision and I hope the transfer fee Everton Football Club receive will help the club move forward.

"The Everton fans have always been fantastic in their support of me. I hope they respect my decision and I also hope that some day in the future I could be welcomed back to watch the team I have supported since boyhood."

Everton manager David Moyes again insisted on Friday Rooney would not be sold until his price tag was met.

Up to a week ago I thought it was more likely he would sign his contract
Everton boss David Moyes

He said: "We are disappointed, but at this time he is an Everton player and will remain that until we receive what we think is his valuation.

"We have got a fee in mind but we won't be discussing what it is.

"Until we get our valuation there will be no movement. He's a player we value really highly. We showed that by the effort we put into his contract offer."

Moyes also revealed that he had expected to keep Rooney up to one week ago.

"I'm not sure this would have happened if Newcastle hadn't sold Jonathan Woodgate," Moyes said.

"That's triggered the whole market off - Newcastle have some money and they have come in with an offer, then Manchester United have come in too.

"But up to a week ago I thought it was more likely he would sign his contract (at Everton)."

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has openly spoken of his desire to land Rooney and believes he remains in pole position ahead of Newcastle.

But it is understood that a move to St James' Park also appeals to Rooney.

It only takes a second to say yes
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson

Asked about the timescale of a move, Ferguson said: "It only takes a second to say yes. The difficulty is getting the medicals but at the moment it is not at the stage where we are talking about it.

"We are waiting for an agreement before doing anything else.

"Rooney's a fabulous player - he showed that at Euro 2004 - and is a young player.

"He's not the finished article yet, but we've got experience of bringing young players to the club and bringing them on."

One club who will not be making a move is Chelsea, who could certainly afford to join the auction if manager Jose Mourinho wished to.

But Mourinho said: "Wayne Rooney is a good player. Newcastle and Manchester United are fighting for him because they have the sport and economical potential and the club who wins the fight will get a good player. That's normal.

"Maybe they do it because they are not happy enough with what they have but in my case, I am more than happy with the strikers I have at the club."

Rooney scored four goals for England at Euro 2004 as he emerged as one of the stars of the tournament before he suffered the foot injury in the quarter-final to Portugal from which he is still recovering.




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