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Everton News
20 June 2004


Evertons top men have united to insist that they would not sell Wayne Rooney even if bidding for the England striker topped the 50m mark.

Chairman Bill Kenwright, Chief Executive Trevor Birch and Manager David Moyes have all vowed to keep the 18-year-old at Goodison Park.

While all three have been delighted with his displays for his country in EURO 2004, speculation linking him with a move away from Goodison Park has risen.

Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United are reportedly interested in securing the services of Rooney, but Everton are adamant that Rooney wants to stay and will.

Kenwright said: "David Moyes and I agreed Wayne has to be a 50million player now.

"I would turn down any bid for him and say: 'Thank you very much. What else do you want to talk about?'"

"We do smile about what Wayne is worth but, then again, we also talk about who's going to be alongside him with us next season.

"We know what Wayne's value is and our price is that he is an Everton player and we have no reason to believe that will change.

"I am not here to sell our best players and Wayne wants to stay. Wayne will continue at Everton." have already reported that the clubs CEO is ready to fly to Portugal to discuss an extension to Rooney's contract, which expires in two years time.
In the meantime, Birch has had to endure daily speculation after Rooney impressed in England's 2-1 defeat to France, then scored twice in the 3-0 win over Switzerland.

"It's all conjecture. The definitive position is that he is not for sale," he said.

"You don't sell your best players. Ask any chief executive or manager and they will tell you the same thing.

If someone is saying they will pay 100m, then of course you are going to think about it, but we're not in that position. It is complete speculation."

Meanwhile, David Moyes has insisted that Rooney had not grown too big for Everton and that he would easily adapt with the pressure of being a big-name player.

He believes that keeping the talented teenager at Goodison is vital for the club and is certain that he does not want to leave.

"Wayne doing so well for England and scoring goals doesn't create a problem for me at all. It just goes to prove to everybody what a good player he is, he said.

"Wayne won't be affected by the pressure and the hype about what he is potentially worth.

"We know what Wayne's value is, but he is an Everton football player and we have no reason to believe that will change.

"Keeping Wayne Rooney at Everton is vital for us, but we have no reason to believe there is a problem.

"We understand that if Everton are not successful in the future then Wayne Rooney might want to seek pastures new, but I hope we would be given the opportunity to try and succeed.

"I have said all along, I am not here to sell my best players. I am here to build a team. That hasn't changed from day one.

"Wayne certainly hasn't outgrown Everton Football Club. Of course, Everton are big enough for Wayne Rooney. Everton are one of the biggest clubs in this land."

David Beckham has also urged the England star to remain at Goodison for the forseeable future.

"I think it's sensible for Wayne to stay where he's happy. If that's at Everton, then so be it," he said.

"If it's at another club, then I'm sure he'll decide what happens to him. He's only 18 and as long as he's at a club that will look after him, that's what he should do.

"We all earn good money and everyone knows that, but the most important thing to us is football.

"We'd all play for free. Wayne loves going out there and playing football, just like all of us.''

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that he would not be interested in buying Rooney.

"We have the strikers we need and are not in the market," said Wenger.

"He is a revelation for people who do not work in England but for me he is no surprise."


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