Rooney signs for United in £27m deal

Wayne Rooney became the world's most expensive teenage footballer last night when, after a day of delays, doubts and a paparazzi pursuit, he joined Manchester United in a deal that could be worth £27m to Everton with agents making another £1.5m.

Wayne Rooney became the world's most expensive teenage footballer last night when, after a day of delays, doubts and a paparazzi pursuit, he joined Manchester United in a deal that could be worth £27m to Everton with agents making another £1.5m.

Rooney's early-morning arrival at United for a medical looked set to herald an imminent move for the 18-year-old England striker, with the fee expected to be £25m. But the last day of the transfer window wore on without conclusive news until, suddenly and dramatically, the impasse ended around 7pm.

After details of the transfer were issued to the Stock Exchange, Rooney was paraded for the MUTV cameras on the Old Trafford pitch, standing with a beaming Sir Alex Ferguson and wearing a red United No 8 shirt and club scarf.

Everton will receive £10m up front, with a further £10m due in August next year. The sums paid by United could rise by a maximum of £7m in "contingent payments". They depend on whether Rooney is still a United player in three year's time; on whether his new club win certain trophies; and on how many caps he gains.

His agent, Paul Stretford of Pro-Active Sports Management, will receive £1.5m for negotiating the transfer and Rooney's personal terms.

Rooney has signed a six-year contract, with his wages likely to be around £50,000 a week. After emerging into the glare of the TV and press cameras, the one-time True Blue joined his new manager in expressing his delight.

"It was a tough decision to leave Everton, the club I've played for all my life," Rooney said. "But I'm excited to be joining a club like Manchester United. I feel this can only improve my career, playing with top players in top competitions like the Champions' League."

Ferguson, whose side trail Arsenal and Chelsea by seven points after picking up only one win from the first four Premiership games, said: "I'm very excited. I think we've got the best young player this country has seen in 30 years."

United, who had been stung into making an offer by Newcastle's opening bid of £20m for Rooney last week, were anxious to complete the deal before the midnight deadline. At 11am, they informed the City that they had reached "an outline agreement" with Everton for Rooney's transfer.

The subsequent eight-hour wait for confirmation was caused by United's desire to ascertain the extent of the injury to Rooney's right foot. He made three separate visits to a Bupa hospital, followed by photographers, before completing his medical at the Carrington training complex and going on to Old Trafford with his representatives to finalise his salary negotiations.

Rooney's stock ­ both as a player and a marketable commodity ­ soared during Euro 2004 and remains high despite tabloid allegations about regular visits to brothels in Liverpool. He scored four goals in the tournament before breaking a metatarsal bone in the quarter-final against Portugal.

The boy from the Croxteth council estate burst on to the scene two years ago. Aged 16 and declaring undying allegiance to Everton, he scored a remarkable winning goal against Arsenal in a league match.

Yesterday, on Merseyside, where the Liverpool Echo's front page carried the headline "Goodbye Wayne" over a picture of a Manchester-bound Rooney in a people-carrier, a fresh graffito had appeared overnight. "Rooney could have been a God," it read, "but he chose to be a Devil." Fans spoke of "betrayal" by a player who had made much of his devotion to Everton. Several declared their disdain for Bill Kenwright's "unambitious" board.

In Manchester, the deal at last done, the patience of the United fans was rewarded when Rooney stopped to sign autographs before being driven away. The face on the statue of Sir Matt Busby ­ who blooded Duncan Edwards and George Best when they were even younger than Rooney ­ seemed to have a quizzical look, as if pondering the wisdom of lavishing such a sum on a talented but troubled teenager.

Details of the Rooney deal

Six year contract until 30 June 2010.

£10m paid to Everton now.

£10m paid on 1 Aug 2005.

£7m dependent on United's success, Rooney renewing his contract and England appearances. Total: £27m.

United also revealed that Rooney's agents, Proactive Sports Management Limited, will receive £1.5m.

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