Reports: Wayne Rooney agrees in principle to join D.C. United
Sky Sports News reported Thursday that the deal is worth £12 million ($16.15 million) and last through the end of the 2020 MLS season.
Per the reports, Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford has traveled to Washington over the past seven weeks to discuss a deal with the club.
While an agreement hasn’t been signed, Sky Sports News reports it would take a “significant change of heart by Rooney and his family to stop the transfer going ahead.”
The 32-year-old Rooney – who would become United’s highest-paid player and fill one of its two open designated-player slots – would be able to join when the MLS transfer window opens July 10.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that United was in “serious talks” with Rooney, who currently plays for Everton in the Premier League, about joining the club. Following Thursday’s reports, it said a potential deal was trending in a “positive direction,” but that it was still “50/50” on happening and that no deal was in place yet.
United also reached out to Rooney last summer before he opted to return to his boyhood club Everton after 13 seasons with Manchester United – arguably the biggest club in the world. He has one year left on his contract with Everton.
In their reported hopes of signing a big-name forward this summer, United also has reportedly targeted players like Mexico's Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Argentina’s Carlos Tevez, Spain’s Fernando Torres and Italy’s Mario Balotelli.
United also has explored signing Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta – who is leaving Barcelona after this season – through intermediaries, but it’s expected he will sign with a Chinese club, according to the Post.
This season, Rooney has scored 10 goals in the Premier League for Everton, though none since December. He made his professional debut with the club at 16 years old in 2002 before joining Manchester United in 2004.
Everton plays its final game of the season Sunday against West Ham.
Notably, Rooney is both Manchester United and England’s all-time leading scorer with 250 goals and 53 goals, respectively. He retired from international play last August, a month after rejoining Everton in July.
D.C. United (1-4-2) currently sits tied for last place overall in the league with just five points. They have also only scored only eight goals – the third-worst output of any team in the league at this point in the season.
During and after last season, D.C. United made at least a few notable signings, including Paul Arriola, a U.S. national team winger. Arriola is currently United’s only designated player – a player who earns more than the standard league wages.
Audi Field, United’s new 20,000-seat stadium that's still under construction, opens July 14.