Rooney, speaking soon after Manchester United’s Europa League triumph, confirmed that he would make a “football decision” when deciding on his future following a campaign on the fringes at Old Trafford.
His future has been uncertain for some time, but recent reports have claimed that Ronald Koeman, who publicly pin-pointed Rooney as a target earlier this year, still has the Man United captain firmly in his sights.
And according to the BBC’s Simon Stone and Phil McNulty, Rooney is edging closer to a poetic return to Goodison Park over the next few weeks.
We’ve been here before. Rooney has, in the past, apparently been edging closer to joining Manchester City and Chelsea in years gone by, but this feels undeniably different.
Previous hints at a move away were grounded in the wrong reasons: he was unhappy, angry even, with whatever was happening behind the scenes, only to have his head turned by improved offers expedited by the club that now sees him earn £250,000 a week.
But the 31-year-old’s motives this time are simpler and indeed understandable: he wants to play more football, and that simply won’t be possible at Old Trafford next season.
This report does not point towards the apparent imminence of his departure as revealed by Neil Custis on Tuesday night, but one thing is certain: this really does look like the end for Rooney in a United shirt.