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Wayne Rooney finalises deal to join DC United as he flies out to US

Wayne Rooney is set to leave the Premier League after agreeing terms on a two-and -a-half year deal with DC United worth an estimated £10 million.

The Major League Soccer franchise have courted Rooney for monthsand although he was initially reluctant to leave Everton, just 12 months after re-joining his boyhood team, his declining physical powers have persuaded him the time is right to move to America.

Just as David Beckham, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard did in the twilight of their career, Rooney has been lured across the Atlantic to become the highly-paid face of an MLS franchise, a difficult decision eased by the fact he will earn roughly the same amount in the USA as he would have done if he had remained on Merseyside.

Rooney had been forced to drop into a deeper midfield roll at Everton last season, with former manager Sam Allardyce frequently deciding to take him off early in Premier League games. Although given a hero’s return to Goodison Park last summer, Rooney scored just 11 goals in 40 appearances for Everton last term.

Although there is no transfer fee involved, DC United are understood to have paid some compensation to Everton as Rooney still had 12 months remaining on his contract.

The deal is expected to be confirmed by DC later today, although he cannot officially sign for the club until the MLS transfer window opens on July 10. His first appearance for his new club is likely to come just four days later when DC officially open their new 20,000-capacity Audi Field Stadium.

Rooney will leave England as the second-highest Premier League goalscorer, with 208 goals, a figure only surpassed by another former England captain, Alan Shearer, who scored 260.

The striker left Manchester United last summer after 13 trophy-laden years at Old Trafford, where he won five league titles, three League Cups, an FA Cup and the Champions League in 2008.

Rooney also broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record during his time at Manchester United, as well as his international goals tally, retiring from international football last year with 53 goals in 119 appearances for his country.

Culled from Telegraph