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Monday, 21 October, 2002, 12:50 GMT 13:50 UK
Rooney agrees Everton deal
Everton striker Wayne Rooney
Rooney will pledge his long-term future to Everton

Everton's teenage sensation Wayne Rooney has agreed a three-year deal at Goodison Park - but will not put pen to paper on his 17th birthday as expected.

Rooney is the hottest property in the Premiership after his spectacular goal ended Arsenal's unbeaten run and gave Everton a 2-1 win at Goodison Park.

And Everton have moved to confirm they have secured Rooney's long-term future by agreeing terms on a new contract.

Rooney's deal will tie him to Everton for the next three years, but he also has an option for a further two seasons.

He had been expected to sign the deal on his 17th birthday on Thursday, but the official confirmation of the deal has been delayed because Rooney is switching agents.

Everton owner Bill Kenwright confirmed: "Because he is moving agents I don't think he will be signing until December but the deal has been agreed.

"I'm not worried because he is a blue through and through.

"His family are all Blues and if he hadn't been on the pitch scoring that goal he would have been among the fans.

"The contract has been agreed. It was agreed several months ago. I can assure every Evertonian that Wayne Rooney will sign his full professional contract and will be staying at Goodison Park."

Rooney is joining the Pro-Active group, which will mean former Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish will be among his advisors, and will not formally sign the contract until that switch is complete.

But BBC Sport Online understands all the details are rubber-stamped and Everton are ready to release a statement clarifying Rooney's future, easing any lingering fears among the club's support.

Rooney has been coveted by all the top clubs - but is a lifelong Everton fan and his family are all season ticket holders at the club.

He has already decided to pledge a large portion of his career to Everton after Arsene Wenger hailed him as "the biggest English talent I've seen since I arrived in the country."

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