Wayne Rooney was confirmed as an Everton player again today, 13 years after he left Goodison Park for Old Trafford.
The 31-year-old becomes the sixth signing that the Blues have made for the first team so far this summer and comes on the heels of the news that Romelu Lukaku is close to securing a move in the opposite direction in what could end up being a world-record deal.
Rooney was pictured arriving at Finch Farm yesterday to tie up the final details on his move and was filmed leaving again with long-time advisor, Paul Stretford. Confirmation of the two-year deal came earlier today.
Rooney's transfer marks the end of persistent speculation since February that he could return to his boyhood club given that his opportunities at Old Trafford have been waning since he became United's all-time leading goalscorer.
His switch from Old Trafford is officially undisclosed but his value to Man Utd was pegged at around £10m, a fee that might be waived as part of the £100m package that looks to be taking Lukaku up the East Lancs Road. He will reportedly earn £150,000 a week at Everton, a salary that represents a significant pay cut but one which shatters the Toffees' hitherto rigid pay structure.
Rooney made headlines in 2004 when he left Everton in controversial circumstances as a raw but unquestionable star-in-the-making. The deal that took him away from the club he had supported and which groomed him was eventually worth £27m to the Blues while the Croxteth-born striker went on to assemble a huge haul of silverware with the Red Devils.
During his record-setting stint with Man Utd he also became the highest goalscorer in England's history, surpassing Gary Lineker and Sir Bobby Charlton when he registered his 50th international goal.
He arrives back at Goodison with a point to prove to those who argue that his best days are behind him and that his powers are on the wane. For Ronald Koeman, he will offer vast experience and valuable squad depth in an area of the field that has needed strengthening for some time.