Wayne Rooney has claimed it was Everton owner Farhad Moshiri rather than former manager Sam Allardyce who wanted him out of the club.
Rooney returned to Goodison Park from Manchester United on a two-year deal in July 2017 after almost 13 years at Old Trafford.
England’s record goalscorer had scored 11 goals by Christmas in his second spell at Everton but says he struggled to get a straight answer from the club over his future, as speculation on the subject increased.
According to Rooney, Allardyce was keen to keep him at Everton, albeit without being able to offer any guarantees over playing time, but Moshiri was less concerned to retain his services.
Rooney eventually joined MLS side DC United over the summer, where he has scored four goals in 12 appearances, and he has now spoken about the circumstances behind his Goodison exit.
[Leaving] was the owner’s decision. He knew he was going to bring a lot of players in and wanted to free money up. That’s his decision but I’m disappointed how it happened, Rooney told The Sunday Times.
I started to think: ‘Is there something being said?’ So I went to see Sam [Allardyce]. I said ‘listen, I’m not a kid, what’s going on – do you want me or not?’
Sam was the honest one. He said, ‘If I’m still here next season you might not play as much but I still want you’. But then he said: ‘I’m not sure the owner has the same opinion’. And trying to get an honest answer out of the owner took three months.
I kept trying and trying. All I wanted was clarity. Even [current Everton boss] Marco Silva was surprised because before he came in he was told I was leaving – but that was before I was told I could leave.
(c) Sky News 2018: Wayne Rooney claims Everton owner Farhad Moshiri wanted him to leave