Rooney lies low as United raise bid

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The Independent Online

Wayne Rooney will not be in the stands at Old Trafford when Everton meet Manchester United today - the day before the transfer window closes.

Wayne Rooney will not be in the stands at Old Trafford when Everton meet Manchester United today - the day before the transfer window closes.

The injured England striker was not at Goodison Park for his side's win against West Brom on Saturday and club officials confirmed he will not be at the lunchtime encounter. United put in a second offer, thought to be £25m, for the 18-year-old yesterday but are waiting to hear if it has been accepted.

"The situation remains the same," an Everton spokesman said. "We have had a second offer and it is being considered and we've had no increased bids [beyond Manchester United's new offer]." Though Newcastle, who opened the bidding at £20m last week, have made no comment, St James' Park officials appear resigned to the fact that if Rooney goes anywhere before the deadline, it will be to Old Trafford.

Rooney hit out at Everton yesterday for the response to his transfer request last week. Fans at Goodison jeered the absent teenager during the 2-1 win against Albion.

"I am absolutely gutted at what is happening here," Rooney said. "It is clear it's time for me to leave Everton. I'm disappointed at some of the things Everton have said, especially considering I know the truth. All clubs sell players, even Manchester United and Arsenal."

The Croxteth-born player has scored only 17 goals since arriving in the Premiership two years ago. One of his first eye-catching performances was at Old Trafford, when Everton held Sir Alex Ferguson's side until the 86th minute but were beaten by three late goals.

Everton appeared to be making plans for life after Rooney over the weekend, with reports that they are attempting to hijack Robert Earnshaw's move to West Brom. Cardiff's Wales international striker passed a medical on Saturday after the clubs agreed a fee of £3.5m but Moyes is known to be an admirer of the 23-year-old.

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