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Arsenal can lay down a marker


Hibbert eyes Rooney return to Everton

Everton defender Tony Hibbert believes it is possible Wayne Rooney will return to Goodison Park to finish his career.

Rooney moved to Manchester United from Everton in August 2004, following a £27 million transfer. Hibbert, who will host a testimonial against AEK Athens on Wednesday, says he hopes Rooney will play for the Toffees once again once his time at Old Trafford has come to an end.

Asked if it is possible for Rooney to return to Everton, Hibbert told the Daily Mail: "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."

Rooney was set to take part in Hibbert's testimonial, but will be forced to miss the event as United prepare to face Barcelona in a pre-season friendly in Sweden. Hibbert says Rooney's initial offer to play demonstrates the passion he still has for the Everton cause.

"It would have been good for Wayne (to play) and it was great that he asked me," said Hibbert. "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.

"He hasn't changed one bit. It says everything about Wayne that he was willing to do that. He probably would have got a bad reception but he is not fazed about that. He loves Everton. Deep down he is still an Evertonian. I know for a fact that he still goes to (Everton) games.

"He will do anything for Everton. It was a great honour for me that he wanted to play in the game. I was surprised when he asked whether he could play and if I would like him to. I jumped at the chance but obviously he has other commitments."


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