Everton boss Ronald Koeman admits he would seize the chance to sign Wayne Rooney – if a possibility emerged for him to return to Goodison Park.
Despite Jose Mourinho insisting that Rooney is staying at Manchester United, there has been growing speculation over recent weeks that the 31-year-old could be ending his lengthy stint at Old Trafford.
Rooney has been linked with a move to China, to Serie A giants Inter Milan and as a replacement for Steven Gerrard at LA Galaxy.
But Koeman has confirmed that if the opportunity arose for Rooney to rejoin boyhood club Everton, then he would attempt to take him back to Merseyside.
"First of all, I think he is a great player, and he has still not finished his career," said Koeman.
"I do not know how his situation is, and I need to respect that situation. That's not my problem.
"But even when we get one time the possibility that Rooney is an option for Everton, I'm very pleased."
Wayne Rooney heading back to Everton?
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When then asked if he was surprised by the recent criticism of Rooney, Koeman replied: "But that is part of football.
"He is enough of an experienced person in football that he knows what can happen and everybody gets periods of critics.
"It is part of football and of the business, and you need to stay calm – that is the best thing you can do."