Man Utd's Rooney wanted to play in testimonial for old Everton teammate Hibbert
Everton defender Tony Hibbert has backed former blues striker Wayne Rooney to make a return to Goodison Park and finish his career at his first club, reports the Daily Mail.
The 31-year-old has spent his entire 16-year career at Everton, amassing 253 Premier League appearances for the Merseyside club, and his loyalty to the Toffees will be rewarded with a testimonial match on Wednesday night against AEK Athens. AEK were the opposition when Hibbert made his record 18th appearance in Europe for Everton.
Despite the occasion being held to mark Hibbert’s longevity at Everton, it’s a former Everton player who has been the talking point. Hibbert revealed that Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney wanted to take part in the game against AEK, but scheduling conflicts mean the England international is unable to appear. Rooney’s appearance would have been met with mixed responses from the Everton fans.
Speaking ahead of the testimonial, Hibbert said “It would have been good for Wayne (to play) and it was great that he asked me, it has just worked out that Manchester United have a game. He was quite upset when he realised (he couldn't play). I still speak to him and it's just great to see what he is doing.”
Rooney and Hibbert shared a same press conference when both were announced as having signed contracts with the first team and Hibbert is confident Rooney could make a return to Goodison Park to end his career, with Rooney never hiding the fact he still supports Everton.
When asked if Rooney returning was a possibility, Hibbert responded: “I think it is. If Wayne says it, then I think the club would be stupid not to welcome him back. I think there would be a few moans but for us to get a player like Wayne Rooney would be massive.”