Wayne Rooney has claimed Everton owner Farhad Moshiri was the driving force behind his departure from the club rather than former manager Sam Allardyce.
Rooney returned to Goodison Park from Manchester United on a two-year deal in July 2017 but says he struggled to get a straight answer from the club over his future, as speculation on the subject increased.
According to Rooney, Allardyce wanted to keep him at Everton but Moshiri was less keen on retaining his services and he eventually joined MLS side DC United over the summer.
“[Leaving] was the owner’s decision. He knew he was going to bring a lot of players in and wanted to free money up. That’s his decision but I’m disappointed how it happened,” Rooney told The Sunday Times.
“I started to think: ‘Is there something being said?’ So I went to see Sam [Allardyce]. I said ‘listen, I’m not a kid, what’s going on – do you want me or not?’
“Sam was the honest one. He said, ‘If I’m still here next season you might not play as much but I still want you’. But then he said: ‘I’m not sure the owner has the same opinion’. And trying to get an honest answer out of the owner took three months.
“I kept trying and trying. All I wanted was clarity. Even [current Everton boss] Marco Silva was surprised because before he came in he was told I was leaving – but that was before I was told I could leave.”