Bookies suspend betting as Rooney closes on Everton return

The vast majority of bookmakers have suspended betting on Wayne Rooney joining Everton after Manchester United agreed to let him leave for free.

Jose Mourinho told Rooney that he was no longer a first-choice ahead of the January window, opening up the prospect of a lucrative move to China.

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But even then, Rooney made it clear that – should he leave United, where he is their club record goalscorer – it would only be to return to Everton.

Clubs in America, China, Celtic and rival Premier League clubs made it clear they would be open to taking him – but the 31-year-old has been waiting on Everton to step up their interest.

Last month revealed that Rooney was still waiting on an offer from Everton – and now they have made their move.

The Toffees – who have already spent £100million this summer recruiting the likes of Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaasen, Micheal Keane and Sandro Ramirez – are now ready to progress the Rooney deal, which will see him become the highest paid player in their history.

Rooney will take some sort of pay-cut but not a huge one as he is still expected to be earning close to £250,000-a-week at Everton – who will not be paying United for him.

Rooney has already started to say his goodbyes to club staff and team-mates, and he will not be going on United’s pre-season which begins in America next week – instead he will be back in his beloved Blue at Everton.

As a result of the news that Everton are now close to a deal, most bookmakers have closed their markets.

Ladbrokes pulled their market after seeing the move go down to 1/20.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “Everton fans must be wondering what the club are putting in their breakfast this summer. Having spent over £70m already, the Toffees are now set to bring home arguably their most famous son.”

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