Manchester United will reportedly allow Wayne Rooney to move to Everton for free despite the Toffees' willingness to offer £10 million, though the deal is said to be separate from Romelu Lukaku's reported transfer in the opposite direction.
According to MailOnline's Simon Jones and Alex Martin, United will waive the fee to "smooth his departure" from the club, while they also reported Rooney's agent, Paul Stretford, was at the offices of Everton chairman Bill Kenwright on Wednesday and "thrashed out a contract," with Everton offering £150,000 per week, an £80,000 pay cut.
United are reported to have agreed a £75 million deal for Lukaku on Wednesday.
The Daily Telegraph's James Ducker believes that while the two deals aren't connected, Everton's interest in Rooney is clearly to their advantage.
Allowing United's all-time leading goalscorer to join his boyhood club for free also leaves room for further negotiations regarding Rooney's wages, so he may perhaps receive something a little closer to his £230,000-per-week earnings with talks "likely to involve commercial revenue."
Even on a free transfer, the deal is still somewhat questionable given Rooney's diminishing ability to influence games in a positive way.
The Daily Telegraph's Matt Law and BT Sport's Jake Humphrey disagreed over the forward's effectiveness:
Football writer Joseph Musker also put Rooney's recent form in perspective:
His marked decline has been plain to see, and it's debatable whether he still possesses the form or fitness to command a starting role, even at Goodison Park.
The 31-year-old could prove useful for his off-field qualities, as he would be an incredibly experienced head in the dressing room, one who has reached the top of the game at club level.
He would need to contribute when he does play, though, so Everton will be hoping his return revitalises him in the twilight of his career.