United reach agreement for Rooney

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Manchester United today announced they have reached an "outline agreement" for the transfer of Wayne Rooney from Everton.

Manchester United today announced they have reached an "outline agreement" for the transfer of Wayne Rooney from Everton.

The announcement to the Stock Exchange came as Everton insisted they were still seeking "the best available deal" for the 18-year-old England striker in the final hours before the transfer deadline at midnight tonight.

United's statement to the Stock Exchange read: "Manchester United plc has reached an outline agreement with Everton FC for the transfer of the registration of Wayne Rooney, subject to his successful completion of a medical.

"Details of the agreement will be announced when all terms are complete."

Rooney, who had also been targeted by Newcastle, was undergoing a medical at United's Carrington training complex following tests at a Manchester hospital earlier this morning.

However, the two clubs have yet to officially confirm a transfer fee - United having increased their bid to £25million over the weekend.

Everton spokesman Ian Ross said: "I must stress that no deal has yet been done. We have always said we are looking for the best available deal for the club and supporters - and that is what we intend to do."

Rooney is currently out of action after breaking his foot at Euro 2004. But that would not appear to have deterred United from getting their man, who arrived at the training complex with United's club doctor Mike Stone.

Rooney was not in the stands at Old Trafford when Everton drew with United yesterday but arrived in Manchester less than 24 hours later.

He hit out at Everton at the weekend for the response to his transfer request last week and said he was "gutted" at the situation at the club.

Fans at Goodison jeered the absent teenager during their team's 2-1 win against West Brom after he demanded a move.

Newcastle bid £20million and then £23.5million for the Croxteth-born player who has scored 17 goals for the Toffees since arriving in the Premiership spectacularly two years ago.

But the departure of manager Sir Bobby Robson yesterday, plus the fact the Magpies could only offer UEFA Cup football compared to the lure of Champions League action at Old Trafford, would appear to have swayed Rooney away from the north-east.

United failed with their first bid of £20million before increasing their offer over the weekend.

The teenager's reputation - and consequently his transfer value - rocketed in the summer when he was the star of England's otherwise unremarkable Euro 2004 campaign, until breaking the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot in the quarter-final defeat against hosts Portugal.