After weeks of considering making the move to Major League Soccer, Everton striker Wayne Rooney officially agreed to join D.C. United as a permanent transfer on Thursday.
Rooney, 32, signed a 3 1/2-year contract and will fill a designated player spot on the club’s roster. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, though the Washington Post reported it is worth $13 million.
Rooney will officially be added to D.C. United’s roster pending receipt of his international transfer certificate when the international transfer window opens July 10, setting up an expected July 14 debut at home against Vancouver – the first game at new Audi Field. He will wear No. 9 after wearing No. 10 for the last 11 seasons.
“It is fantastic to be joining D.C. United at such an exciting time in the club’s history with the new stadium opening in just a few weeks,” Rooney said in a statement. “Moving to America and MLS fulfills another career ambition for me. I have the hunger to be a success here and will give D.C. 100 percent – as I have always done for every team I have ever played for.”
Rooney still had one year remaining on his contract at Everton, for whom he played from 2002-04 before returning in 2017 after 13 years with Manchester United. However, previous reports have said Rooney felt forced out of Everton – with little choice but to accept joining D.C. United – after being told he is not in Everton manager Marco Silva’s plans.
Rooney scored 10 goals in 32 games for Everton during the 2017-18 season, but did not score after December, and his future with the team became cloudy when Silva replaced Sam Allardyce.
In total, Rooney scored 208 goals in 491 Premier League appearances and is the second all-time leading scorer behind Alan Shearer (260).
“This is a seminal moment for our fans and organization. Wayne is a global soccer icon and his presence at D.C. United will elevate our product on the pitch and soccer as a whole in our city and in this country,” Jason Levien, United managing general partner and CEO, said in a statement. “Wayne has thrived when competing at the most elite levels of soccer and we’re thrilled to have his leadership as we enter this new era at Audi Field.”
D.C. United are currently last in the Eastern Conference standings with 10 points (2-6-4), although they have played just two of 11 games at home due to construction of the new stadium.