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LIVERPOOL, England — Everton manager Sam Allardyce on Friday confirmed D.C. United have expressed an interest in Wayne Rooney but stressed the forward has not asked to leave.

Multiple reports on Thursday said Rooney, 32, had agreed in principle to join the Major League Soccer side for a £12 million fee, though sources told ESPN FC that a deal has yet to be confirmed and the Washington Post, which first reported D.C.’s interest on Tuesday, said the transfer’s chances were “50-50.”

Allardyce said he would learn more about the situation later on Friday when Rooney would report for training at Finch Farm. However, sources later told ESPN FC that the forward left the training ground as the rest of the players headed out to begin training.

“My understanding of the situation is that there seems to have been some negotiations somewhere along the line. But as in terms of the clarity whether Wayne is leaving or staying, I’ll find out a little more today when Wayne comes in for training,” Allardyce said at a news conference ahead of Everton’s final match of the season on Sunday.

“I don’t get involved in anything regarding transfers or negotiations. All I know is that there appears to be an interest from D.C. United — where that is and where that lies and where Wayne lies with it, I can’t tell you at the moment. Only after I’ve spoken him today will I find out where the situation actually lies.

“If any players want to leave, I’m always comfortable with any player who wants to leave or if any player doesn’t want to leave.

“But let’s put it right, Wayne Rooney has not asked to leave. And neither has Wayne Rooney had a confrontation with me. We’ve not been in any difficult situations because we’re two adults and we talk.”

Rooney has made 40 appearances for Everton this season after returning to his boyhood club in the summer from Manchester United.

However, the former England international last scored for the Blues on Dec.18 and was left visibly frustrated when substituted during last month’s Merseyside derby.

“How as a manager can you guarantee anybody to play?” Allardyce said. “Because if they don’t play well you can’t select them and if they do play well then they stay in the team. That’s the simple fact of the matter.

“No manager or coach can guarantee a player his place in the side. They get the opportunities and it’s up to them to put their game together on a consistent basis — and those are the ones who play every week.”

Meanwhile, Allardyce was asked about his own future on Friday, with certain sections of Everton’s support unhappy with 63-year-old’s management since arriving in November.

Allardyce, though, has not been told that he will be departing Goodison Park at the end of the season and claims he has already put plans in place for 2018-19.

“I have a contract. I have a one-year contract,” he said. “Until such time when somebody says to me: ‘I no longer want you to fulfil that contract’ then I have a contract. I’ve already [planned for next season]. It’s planned, it’s there.”

Glenn is ESPN FC’s Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.


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