It's Everton or abroad for Wayne Rooney as he confirms he's all but decided to leave Manchester United this summer

Old Trafford sources say it is virtually inevitable he will leave, and there remains a strong belief Everton is his preferred football destination

Wayne Rooney has all but decided his future
Wayne Rooney has all but decided his future

After what is believed to have been his last appearance for Manchester United, Wayne Rooney stopped to talk in the Friends Arena mixed zone - and stopped just short of fully revealing his future plans.

The 31-year-old said he has made a decision on his future, that he ‘knows’ what he will do - but intimated that he still has to make up his mind on his actual destination with his family over the next two weeks, following United's 2-0 Europa League final win over Ajax.

Old Trafford sources say it is virtually inevitable he will leave, and there remains a strong belief Everton is his preferred football destination, but Rooney said he will weigh up a number of factors with his family.

The United captain confirmed he had "lots of offers on the table" from England and abroad. Rooney turned down a move to the Chinese Super League in February, and it is understood that is because he feels he has more to give at the top level, as he also seeks to weigh up what is the best decision for his family. He meanwhile confirmed that the only Premier League clubs he would ever play for are United or Everton.

It was one of those occasions when Rooney rather creditably wanted to front up with the media and discuss his situation as candidly as possible - having promised journalists he would do precisely that after the Europa League semi-final win over Celta Vigo - but was very conscious of how much he could actually say. Directly asked whether he would sit down with manager Jose Mourinho or assess things when on holiday, Rooney smiled and assertively stated: "I know. No, I know [what I'm doing]... as the manager said before, he wants me to stay, but… "

Asked again whether there was any leeway on whatever his mindset was or whether he had decided, Rooney again said "more or less, yeah", as if to he say he had decided. When asked whether he wanted to reveal what that decision was, and whether he would ever play for another Premier League club, the 31-year-old laughed good-naturedly and said: "I’ve played for two Premier League clubs and they’re the only two Premier League clubs I’ll play for."

Roone lifted the Europa League trophy after what could have been his final United game 

"Yeah, there’s lots of offers on the table, both in England, abroad and really that’s what I have to decide on," Rooney elaborated.

"I’ve got decisions to make now over the next few weeks, have a word with my family, and then I’ll decide…"

A further issue for Rooney after a season where he has played less than ever before has been that United are expected to sign big, especially in attack given the targets of Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann and Torino's Andrea Belotti, but he stated there was more to it as he also reflected on the contribution he feels he can still give to a club. The 31-year-old insisted he feels he could still play 64 games in a season, but stressed how he had always been willing to put the team first, and admitted he would have found it much more frustrating as a younger player.

"No, I don’t think it’s that [extra signings], I think I just have to make a decision in terms of a football decision, and that’s what I’ll do, I’ll do that the next few weeks with my family while I’m away and, honestly, as soon as I know what’s going on then, I’m sure you [will know].

"I think… listen, first of all I’ve always been a team player. This year, I’ve never once sulked, let my head drop, I’ve understood what was best for the team, I’ve tried to help when the manager’s played me.

"Of course you want to play, you want to be on the pitch, of course. I think a younger me would have been a lot more frustrated. I think I understand what’s right and what’s needed for the club, and I respect that. Obviously happy to be part of that and in some way help the club win trophies, and that’s the way it’s been over the last 18 months, last year, and that’s a decision I have to make now, whether I want to continue doing that or go on and play more regular football.

"I still believe I could [play all 64 matches of a season]. You know, if you’re asking me if I’m a better player now than I was 10 years ago, then obviously I’m not but I still feel I’ve got other qualities that can help the team and as I said, it’s a decision now I’ll make in the next couple of weeks."

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