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Wayne Rooney turns down Everton job as Toffees search for Rafa Benitez replacement

Everton have been without a manager for almost two weeks.

Everton sacked Rafael Benitez following their defeat to Norwich City earlier this month.

A number of names have been linked with the vacancy but it is still unclear who will be taking up the hot seat at Goodison Park as the Spaniard’s replacement.

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Wayne Rooney has been heavily linked with the job over the past two weeks and the Derby County boss has now spoken on the rumours.

In today’s press conference Rooney admitted to turning down an interview with his former club.

The former England international said: “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%. 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 [to turn it down].”

Rooney has impressed at Pride Park this season and has helped lift the Rams off the foot of the Championship table, despite receiving a total 21 point deduction.

The ex-Everton starlet has shown his loyalty to the Midlands club and the Toffees will have to continue their pursuit of a new manager.

Who else has been linked with the Everton job?

Frank Lampard is currently favourite to become the next Everton boss, after being out of work since his departure from Chelsea last year.

Duncan Ferguson has also been considered to step up to become the club’s permanent manager.

Elsewhere, former Fenerbahce boss, Vitor Pereira, and ex-Monaco manager, Niko Kovac, have also been linked.

Toffees fans protested against Pereira’s potential arrival, displaying their feelings through graffiti on a wall at Goodison Park that read: ‘PEREIRA OUT LAMPARD IN’.