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 Tuesday, 7 January, 2003, 08:14 GMT
Rooney's Everton pledge
Wayne Rooney is reportedly being offered 8,000 per week
Rooney is being offered 8,000 per week

Wayne Rooney will definitely sign a new deal at Everton, his agent has told BBC Sport Online.

The 17-year-old is currently negotiating his first professional contract at Goodison Park having previously been on 90 per week Academy terms.

Reports had suggested those talks were on the verge of collapsing over three issues: Rooney's wages, image rights and fees for his agent.

But both the club and Rooney's camp have said such talk is "absolute nonsense".

"There is no doubt in my mind that Wayne Rooney will sign for Everton Football Club," said Paul Stretford of ProActive Sports Management, who look after the youngster's interests.

To suggest that negotiations are on the point of collapse is absolute nonsense

Everton spokesman Ian Ross

Stretford added: "We are in discussions to negotiate a contract with the football club for Wayne.

"That's what Wayne wants, what we want and what Everton Football Club wants and that's what will happen.

"Talks have been handled in a more than amicable fashion and things are being moved forward as we speak."

Stretford admitted the contract currently on offer "does have some difficulties" which need to be ironed out.

But he insisted: "I am not aware of any major stumbling blocks."

Rooney's agent would not be drawn on the wages on offer but it is believed that the teenager is being presented with an 8,000 per week deal.

That would be about a 10th of Roy Keane's weekly wage at Manchester United but the young striker would pick up increases if, for example, he wins his first England cap.

Everton are thought to keen on hurrying the deal along because Rooney could technically move for a relatively tiny fee now as he is still classed as a 'scholar'.

With the likes of Real Madrid showing tentative interest, the Goodison Park club are aware they would only receive a fee for him agreed by a tribunal - which could be a fraction of the player's market value.

However, it is understood the player's firm allegiance to the club he supported as a boy will ensure that interest from other sides is academic at this stage.

Ian Ross, Everton's head of corporate affairs and PR, told BBC Sport Online: "Talks have been ongoing for a number of weeks and will continue. To suggest that negotiations are on the point of collapse is absolute nonsense.

"Both the club and Rooney's advisors are determined to reach swift agreement on a contract and we expect a deal to be struck in the not too distant future."

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