Everton test the water over Rooney transfer

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The Independent Football

Everton have made the first moves to sell Wayne Rooney by discreetly telephoning potential buyers to ascertain his market value.

Everton have made the first moves to sell Wayne Rooney by discreetly telephoning potential buyers to ascertain his market value.

With the debt-ridden club still in the grip of a power-struggle between the chairman, Bill Kenwright, and director Paul Gregg, the Rooney issue has to be addressed sooner rather than later. However, of the obvious buyers, Manchester United are the most interested but are keen to drive Rooney's price down. Chelsea, whose manager, Jose Mourinho, ruled himself out of the running earlier this month, are being cagey while Real Madrid have business to do first before they can turn their attention to the Goodison teenager.

Rooney's advisers have yet to receive a response to the questions they delivered asking about the quality of the signings Everton manager, David Moyes, planned to make. Like some Evertonians, Rooney may need persuading about the club's second major signing of the summer, Tim Cahill, who will finalise his move from Millwall today after the clubs agreed a £1.7m fee.

Cahill had been expected to remain in London and join Crystal Palace for £2m until the deal collapsed in arguments over agents' fees. The transfer of the Australian midfielder, hugely influential in Millwall's run to the FA Cup final, is the club's first piece of good news in an otherwise bleak week.

The move was negotiated by Kenwright in a clear indication that he does not intend to surrender control of the club. However, Everton may lose Cahill for the opening weeks of the season if he is called into Australia's Olympic squad.

Everton have funded the deal with the sale of striker Tomasz Radzinski to Fulham for £100,000 more than they paid for Cahill. The Canadian has left Goodison on bitter terms; he was fined a fortnight's wages for an attack on Moyes' management style and then claimed to be injured when Everton played at Crewe in a friendly. He was ordered to report for a fitness test and told to drive himself back to Merseyside. Everton lost the game 2-1.

Tobias Linderoth is on course to be sold to Copenhagen for £1m while Moyes may be forced to sell his hard-tackling midfielder, Thomas Gravesen, since the Dane's advisers have informed the club he is likely to look for a free transfer when his contract expires next year.

Moyes, who today leads Everton on a tour of Texas, has decided on decisive action in the transfer market to turn around a disastrous summer. Even the American tour was blighted by the refusal to grant Duncan Ferguson a visa over his assault conviction. Some targets have already escaped Moyes, with Thomas Helveg joining Norwich and Mathieu Flamini opting for Arsenal.

Everton have been linked with the Aberdeen chief executive, Keith Wyness, as a replacement for Trevor Birch, who resigned after six weeks in the job. Wyness has experience in the travel industry with British Airways and Radisson and was managing director of Olympic Club, a marketing company at the Sydney Olympics.

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