Wayne Rooney has opened up on how he utilised Newcastle's interest in him to seal his move to Manchester United in 2004.
After impressing for Everton with nine goals in the Premier League in the 2003/04 campaign, Rooney was highly sought-after by numerous clubs.
At the age of just 18, he moved to Old Trafford for £25.6million – then a world-record fee for a player under the age of 20.
Rooney went on to win 11 major honours for the Red Devils and scored a club-record 253 goals over 559 games.
But it took an ultimatum to force through the move in 2004 and allow Rooney to join Sir Alex Ferguson's side amid interest from Newcastle and Chelsea.
“I knew it [joining United] was an option before Euro 2004,” Rooney told the UTD Podcast . “I knew Manchester United wanted to sign me.
“I think going to the Euros and doing well there probably added a bit more money onto the transfer fee but I broke my foot and found out a few things.
“Everton were really struggling for money at the time and I found out they were listening to offers from people as well.
“They were trying to push me to sign for Chelsea because they were going to pay the most money. But, once I knew United were interested, I wanted some confirmation that they did want to sign me.”
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Rooney added: "Once I knew they did want to sign me, it was the only club [for me] as I wanted to work with Sir Alex Ferguson and play with Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, Rio Ferdinand, these players, so I knew where I wanted to go.
“It was 40 minutes from my home, where I grew up, as well and it was a perfect fit for me. United actually wanted to wait a year, until the following year, but then Newcastle came into talks with Everton and with myself.
“I'd gone too far then. I couldn't wait another year, I couldn't stay another year at Everton, so I was prepared to go to Newcastle for that year.
“I spoke to them, we spoke about salary and what I wanted if I went there was, after a year, if Manchester United come in, you have to let me go.
“Newcastle were agreeing to that but obviously, with United, I went back to them and said, if you don't do it now, I'll go to Newcastle with a clause in place. United obviously didn't want me to go there so I came here.
“It was basically whatever Newcastle paid for me, United would have paid a year later.”
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