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News come from Sportinglife:
Rooney - team plan talks with Toffees.


Everton's bid to hold on to Wayne Rooney received a boost on Tuesday night as the England striker's management company pledged to meet with the club's board to discuss their new contract offer.

Rooney has been offered the richest deal in Everton's history to remain at Goodison Park, with a lucrative new five-year package on the table for the 18-year-old.

A spokesman for Proactive Sports Group said: "We have received a fax from Everton Football Club giving the outline of a proposed long-term deal for Wayne Rooney.

"We will be giving this proper consideration and will be in contact with Trevor Birch to make arrangements for a meeting in the not-too-distant future."

Rooney's stock is on the rise after Euro 2004 in Portugal, where he scored four goals in his first major tournament.

Everton are anxious to retain his services, especially after such a poor season last time around.

Rooney still has two years left on his current deal, which was signed in January 2003.

However, chief executive Birch is keen to re-negotiate and he told the club website, "We believe this is the right offer for Wayne - one that fully reflects his growing stature within football.

"The five-year deal which has been offered is the biggest ever made in the club's history.

"Hopefully it will not only satisfy Wayne's demands but also serve to underscore the club's ambition."

Rooney is currently recovering from a broken bone in his right foot sustained during the quarter-final defeat by Portugal.

Birch believes the Liverpool lad, who has come through the ranks, would be best to remain close to his roots.

He said: "Wayne is a great talent and there can be no doubt he has benefited from spending all his formative years at a club which has a proven track record in helping young players realise their potential.

"Everyone at Everton is anxious that Wayne remains at Goodison Park and continues his footballing education under the stewardship of manager David Moyes and his coaching staff.

"While we understand that a player of such ability will inevitably be coveted by others, we honestly believe that Wayne's interests, at this stage in his career, would be best served by committing his future to the club he plays for and had always supported."

Chelsea and Manchester United were both thought to have been interested in Rooney but have responded with negative signals. Real Madrid, however, are still believed to be keen to sign on him.

United chief executive David Gill said at the weekend they did not have the funds to make a bid.

And Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho this week claimed he was not ready to bid for the England forward.

Birch added: "We have therefore, in the offer of a new contract, made every conceivable effort to ensure Wayne Rooney remains a key figure at Everton for the foreseeable future."

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