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Wayne Rooney says he turned down interview for Everton job

Rebecca Lowe weighs in on some of the biggest questions around the Premier League after Everton sacked Rafael Benitez and Ralf Rangnick and Anthony Martial butted heads at Man United.

As Everton start their search for a new manager, the Toffees will reportedly interview Frank Lampard and have made an enquiry to Derby about the availability of Wayne Rooney.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

The former England teammates are both on Everton’s short-list, as was their former boss Roberto Martinez.

UPDATE: Wayne Rooney said on Friday that while it was “a difficult decision,” he ultimately turned down the opportunity to interview for the Everton job this time around — quotes from the Guardian:

“Everton approached my agent and asked me to interview for the vacant job, which I turned down.
“I believe I will be a Premier League manager. I believe I’m ready for that, 100 percent. And if that is with Everton one day in the future, that would be absolutely great. But I’ve got a job here that I’m doing at Derby County, which is an important job to me.

“They got in touch with my agent, my agent let the administrators know as well, and yes, of course, it was a difficult decision for me.”

According to a report from the Daily Telegraph, Lampard has been offered an interview for the Everton job and they want to speak with Rooney too, as owner Farhad Moshiri looks at all of the available options after he fired Rafael Benitez over the weekend after just one win in their last 13 Premier League games.

Per the report, Everton have reached out to Derby County to see if they are able to approach the former Everton star about becoming their new manager. Derby are in a huge financial mess but will be reluctant to lose Rooney (he has a contract as Rams boss until the summer of 2023) as he’s held things together remarkably well at the Championship club following their 21-point deduction for financial issues.

Everton to go in a different direction?

It looks like their job-share proposal to Belgium for Roberto Martinez isn’t going to work out, so Everton are looking at other options.

And these options include young coaches who are in their first few jobs in the game.

Let’s face it, Everton have tried pretty much everything else since firing Martinez. After going through Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce and now Benitez, they also lost Carlo Ancelotti as he decided to move on. Since Moshiri arrived in 2016 there have been constant changes in playing philosophy, recruitment and everything in-between.

Duncan Ferguson has taken caretaker charge initially. Maybe he could take on that role until the end of the season to see if more managers are available then and give Everton time to bring in more people behind-the-scenes and try to come up with a plan?

However, Moshiri appears to be prepared to take a bit of a risk on a younger, unproven coach.

Who is the better fit?

Rooney, 36, seems like the better fit for this job. Everton is his boyhood club who he played for twice and he clearly has something about him as a coach, at the very least from an organizational and motivational standpoint.

What Rooney has done at Derby over the last few months defies belief. They can hardly afford to pay players but with the current patched up squad, they would be in the top half of the Championship table if you take away their points deduction. That is seriously impressive.

As for Lampard, this could be a good landing spot from his point of view.

He was interviewed for the Crystal Palace and Norwich jobs but didn’t feel like either were right for him and the former Derby and Chelsea coach is waiting for the right job to come up rather than rush into things. Lampard’s teams at Derby and Chelsea played an open, attractive style and he prefers to give young players a chance.

Would Rooney be a success?

Everton will back either of these young coaches financially when it comes to new players, but there is so much work that needs to go on behind-the-scenes at Goodison to get things moving in the right direction.

At this point the manager is about the third or fourth most important thing to figure out for Moshiri. He needs a clear plan and identity for the club.

This job at this time seems perfect for Rooney, who can leave Derby on his own terms and their fans would understand. It would also excite Everton’s fans and Rooney could put a real plan in place for recruitment and to stamp his identity on the club.

There’s no doubt this opportunity has come a lot earlier than anyone, even Rooney, would’ve expected. But can he really turn Everton down if they come calling?

Follow @JPW_NBCSports