London: New Everton manager Marco Silva made clear yesterday that it will be Wayne Rooney’s decision should he choose to leave his boyhood club for Major League Soccer side DC United.
Rooney, 32, has already held talks with the Washington franchise over a reported $17 million transfer just a year after returning to Goodison Park from Manchester United.
“He has already started his deal (talks),” Silva said as he was unveiled as Everton’s third manager in eight months yesterday.
“Rooney is a club legend and we need to understand everything. The door is open every time for him.”
England’s all-time record goalscorer had delayed a decision on his future until the appointment of a new manager.
Rooney was Everton’s top scorer with 11 goals this season even though he fell down the pecking order under Sam Allardyce, who was sacked last month.
“There is a possibility he will leave. He is talking with Washington, it is no secret,” said the club’s director of football, Marcel Brands, who was appointed just last month.
“We will also talk with him.”
Allardyce led Everton out of relegation trouble to finish eighth in the Premier League, after a disastrous start to the season, which saw Ronald Koeman sacked in October.
However, the former England manager clashed with Everton fans over his style of football which prioritised results over entertainment.
“It is easy to understand the culture and identity,” said Silva, who has been handed a third Premier League job after short spells at Hull City and Watford.
“I know what the fans expect to see every time.”
The Portuguese coach is under pressure to prove himself as he failed to save Hull from relegation in 2017 and was fired by Watford in January after results declined following initial interest from Everton when Koeman was fired.
“I don’t want to compare nothing,” added Silva.
“Now is the moment to prove again, it is a big challenge for us. To win matches you need to create chances and score.”