Farewell Wayne Rooney, who heads to Washington as a true England great | Andy Hunter

Former Everton, Manchester United and England striker is joining DC United and now faces the job of settling down in a US city and a long way from Merseyside

Without the fanfare that greeted his arrival as the most gifted English player in a generation, or the acrimony of his first Everton exit, Wayne Rooney has brought his 16-year Premier League career to a close. Even so, and even with all eyes on Gareth Southgate’s new breed in Russia, it is a career that does not slip away unheralded.

Rooney, with Everton’s blessing and encouragement, flew to Washington on Thursday to finalise a three-and-a-half year contract with DC United. The deal will be formally completed when the MLS transfer window opens on 10 July – Everton will not receive a fee – and the 32-year-old is expected to make his debut for the Eastern Conference’s bottom club when they open their £300m Audi Field stadium against Vancouver Whitecaps four days later. His basic wage will be in the region of £75,000 a week, half the amount he received at Goodison Park, albeit with greater commercial opportunities available to soften the blow. It is a decision reached with careful consideration and some reluctance.

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