Current Derby County boss and former Everton player, Wayne Rooney has confirmed that he turned down the chance to discuss the vacant manager’s role at Everton.
Vitor Pereira and Frank Lampard are thought to be the remaining candidates to take over the struggling Toffees, following the sacking of Rafa Benitez this month.
Derby boss Rooney stated on Friday that he will not abandon the Rams during their fight against relegation from the Championship, while they are also stuck in administration.
While speaking to reporters, he said: “Everton approached my agent and asked me to interview for the vacant job, which I turned down.”
Rooney added: “I believe I will be a Premier League manager. I believe I’m ready for that, 100 per cent. And if that is with Everton one day in the future that would be absolutely great.
But I’ve got a job here that I’m doing at Derby County which is an important job to me.”
He admitted he had to think long and hard about the offer.
“They got in touch with my agent, my agent let the administrators know as well, and yes of course it was a difficult decision for me,” Rooney said.
Rooney said last week he had been “flattered” by the speculation linking him with the Everton job, but at that stage there had been no contact from the Merseyside club.
Rooney’s ties to Everton run deep. He joined the club as a nine-year-old and made his first-team debut aged 16 in 2002, before moving on to Manchester United two years later. He rejoined Everton for the 2017-18 season.
His former England team-mate Frank Lampard is understood to have emerged as the front-runner for the role ahead of Vitor Pereira, the former favourite before giving a bizarre television interview on Wednesday.
It is now left to know who Everton will eventually turn to to help steady their rocking ship following the sack of Rafa Benitez.