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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 June, 2004, 06:41 GMT 07:41 UK
Rooney priced above 50m

Wayne Rooney celebrates his opening goal against Switzerland with captain David Beckham
If someone is saying they will pay 100m, then of course you are going to think about it, but we're not in that position
Everton chief executive Trevor Birch
Everton have insisted they would not sell Wayne Rooney even if bidding for the England striker reached 50m.

Speculation linking the 18-year-old with a move to Manchester United or Chelsea has raged in the wake of his two goals for England at Euro 2004.

Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright said: "David Moyes and I agreed Wayne has to be a 50m player now.

"I would turn down any bid for him and say: 'Thank you very much. What else do you want to talk about?'"

Kenwright added: "We do smile about what Wayne is worth but, then again, we also talk about who's going to be alongside him with us next season.

"We know what Wayne's value is and our price is that he is an Everton player and we have no reason to believe that will change.

"I am not here to sell my best players and Wayne wants to stay. Wayne will continue at Everton."

The Goodison Park club - 30m in debt and with no money to spend on new players this summer - have yet to receive any bids for Rooney.

Kenwright said manager Moyes would make the decision on whether to accept any offer that did come in.

"As for a 50m bid for him, well, there's only one person who will ever make that kind of decision. Not Bill Kenwright, not the Everton board, but the Everton manager."

He added: "There have been no bids for Wayne, absolutely not. No approach from Chelsea, nor Manchester United.

"I have heard talk of Manchester United having a done deal. But I have had no contact whatsoever with United, and you would think they would ring, wouldn't you?"

Everton chief executive Trevor Birch is ready to discuss an extension to Rooney's contract - which has two years left to run - as soon as the teenager is ready.

He has to play against Croatia and that's it
Sven-Goran Eriksson on Rooney

In the meantime Birch has had to endure daily speculation after Rooney impressed in England's 2-1 defeat to France, then scored twice in the 3-0 win over Switzerland.

"It's all conjecture. The definitive position is that he is not for sale," Birch said.

"You don't sell your best players. Ask any chief executive or manager and they will tell you the same thing. If someone is saying they will pay 100m, then of course you are going to think about it, but we're not in that position. It is complete speculation."

Moyes, the manager who has protected Rooney from the media spotlight successfully until this tournament, added: "I don't see anyone from Wayne's side, or anyone from Everton's side, saying anything about him being transferred.

"Yet there is endless speculation. Everton have been going through hard times and my aim is to improve them with Wayne Rooney's help."

Everton were believed to be unimpressed by England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson saying he would "ring his agent" if he was a club manager.

But there appears to be little the club can do to stop Rooney's list of admirers growing.

Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy said on Sunday: "He is a phenomenal talent and the prospect of him pulling on a United shirt is frightening.

"If he does become available, Manchester United should do everything in their power to sign him. It certainly excites me to think he could be playing at United next season."

Chelsea's new coach Jose Mourinho has also confirmed his admiration and on Sunday Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger told BBC Radio Five Live: "He is the revelation of the tournament for people who do not work in English football but for me he is no surprise.

"30m looks to me a very high price for any player in the world, but I don't look at players from the money point of view. I look at the player and the interesting thing about Rooney is the player he could become."

But Wenger ruled out a move by his club, saying: "We have the strikers we need and are not in the market."

Wenger's existing star striker, Thierry Henry, added: "Before the tournament started I warned people to watch out for this kid. I think a lot of people were a bit dismissive of what I said because he plays for Everton, but I knew he would have an impact."


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Highlights: England 3-0 Switzerland






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