Four signings Wayne Rooney could make as Everton manager if Rafa Benitez sacked

Guardiola: 'Many things can happen' in Premier League race

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Everton have been linked with yet another return for Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United icon had a brief spell with the Toffees towards the end of his playing career but now the 35-year-old has been tipped to succeed the unpopular Rafa Benitez at Goodison Park. 

According to The Sun, the club’s board have ‘made contact’ with Rooney over the role, which would see him leave his current position at stricken Derby County.  

The former Toffees striker burst onto the scene in an Everton shirt before securing a ground-breaking big-money transfer to United in 2004.  

Everton have struggled under Benitez following a bright start. Given his links to Liverpool, any bad form was likely to be met with supporter discontent.  

That was compounded by Sunday’s 3-1 defeat by Crystal Palace. 

Rooney would have a difficult job putting the club back on the right track. Express Sport picks out four signings he could make. 

Jesse Lingard 

Rooney could use his contacts at United to secure a few bargain deals.  

Attacking midfielder Lingard has long been linked with a permanent transfer and might choose Everton if he could play under Rooney.  

The pair were team-mates before the England legend’s return to the Toffees in 2017.  

Lingard enjoyed a successful loan spell at West Ham last season but decided to fight for his place at United in the summer.  

A couple of attacking arrivals pushed him even further down the pecking order, though, and he could use January as an opportunity to kickstart his career elsewhere. 

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Donny van de Beek 

Van De Beek’s United career has been a mysterious case. The Dutchman was signed for £34m two years ago but has been an outcast for his entire time at Old Trafford.  

He has started just four Premier League games across two seasons, with none coming this term.  

Most of his appearances have come as a substitute and he rose from the bench to aptly score the final goal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign against Watford.  

The 24-year-old has frequently been linked with a departure, including to Everton. In the summer, he was close to joining the Merseysiders on loan but the deal was pulled.  

His agent told Dutch broadcaster Ziggo Sport: “We had conversations with Solskjaer and the board. We took the initiative to find a club and our search ended up at Everton. 

“[The day before the deadline] we had a call from Solskjaer that a transfer was out of the question and that he had to report for training the next morning.”

Edinson Cavani 

Everton have struggled for goals without the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Salomon Rondon scored for the first time this season in the defeat Palace on Sunday.  

And they could do with an experienced, clinical finisher to step in and assist with the scoring burden. 

Cavani has been quite brutally starved of football since Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at United.  

He could go and play a bit more frequently at Everton where he would likely thrive under Rooney. 

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Jason Knight 

In a dismal season for Derby, energetic midfielder Knight has been one of few highlights.  

The versatile Ireland international, 20, has played 47 times under Rooney. 

And the Derby boss has compared Knight to himself.  

Upon becoming Derby manager earlier this year, he said: “I’ve been really impressed with the way they’ve trained, particularly Knighty.  

“His energy, his attitude. He almost reminds me of myself when I was younger in terms of no fear.”

For those fans who watched a 16-year-old Rooney break onto the scene, those quotes will be incredibly exciting. 

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