Wayne Rooney chose to return to Everton rather than move to a country such as China because he wanted the “pressure” of being back at his boyhood club. The former Manchester United striker rejoined the Toffees on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee last summer. The 32-year-old says he had options to move abroad on a big-money contract. “That’s not me, I need those goals, I need that pressure. That desire to play would have been lost if I’d chosen that other option,” he told Football Focus.

Speaking to former Everton team-mate Kevin Kilbane, Rooney said he could have decided to see out his career “earning a lot of money”. But he chose to return to Goodison Park 13 years after leaving the Merseyside club. “I knew that coming back to Everton was more pressure – that’s what I wanted. I wanted to prove myself again to the Everton fans and to try to help this club move forward and win silverware. “I think it was the perfect fit for me and hopefully in the next two or three years we can do that.”

Rooney played 559 times for United, scoring 253 goals. He won five Premier League titles and the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup once each after joining from Everton for £27m in 2004.