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Last Updated: Friday, 23 July, 2004, 07:09 GMT 08:09 UK
Wayne Rooney diary
BBC Sport monitors the daily developments in the life of Wayne Rooney.


23.07.04 BACK IN BUSINESS

After a frustrating lay-off with his fractured metatarsal, Wayne is finally given the all clear to resume training by his specialist.

For now, he is limited to just light exercise - swimming and bike work.

And the 18-year-old is still facing a race against time to be fit for England's friendly against the Ukraine on 18 August.

Meanwhile the contract negotiations with Everton roll on. Where will Wayne be playing next season?

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.





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