By George Overhill

23rd Jan, 2023 | 8:31pm

Everton have already made “informal contact” with club-legend Wayne Rooney about potentially taking the vacant manager role, GOAL reports.

Frank Lampard was sacked on Monday afternoon (23 January) after Farhad Moshiri attended the 2-0 defeat to West Ham on Saturday.

DC United’s Rooney, world-famous as a player but still unproven as a manager, was a candidate to take the Goodison Park job a year ago after Rafael Benitez was fired, but ultimately stayed at Derby County and ex-Chelsea boss Lampard was appointed.

Alex Crook recently claimed that the former England captain wanted to return to Goodison Park at the time but without having to go through an interview process [talkSPORT, 5 January], yet he appears to be much less-interested this time around.

The report from GOAL says: “Everton have made informal contact with Rooney after sacking manager Lampard following a poor start to the Premier League campaign, GOAL understands.

“Rooney is currently in charge of MLS side DC United but has serious reservations about returning to England and taking over at Goodison Park.

“Rooney has previously revealed he turned down the chance to manage Everton before Lampard was appointed in January 2022, when he was in charge of Derby County in the Championship.”

Huge risk

Rooney’s status in England, Everton and the Premier League is forever cemented after what he achieved as a player, but his record since moving into management is far less impressive.

He was praised for the job he took on in extremely difficult circumstances at Derby, operating with a points deduction as the club went into administration and barely had any players.

But since he returned to the US capital in MLS he has struggled, winning just two of his 14 games in charge, and with the Toffees nearly bottom of the Premier League they don’t have the luxury any longer of taking a chance on a developing coach.

That was essentially what Lampard was when he came in a year ago, but he at least had Premier League experience with Chelsea, and had been to an FA Cup final.

The 44-year-old’s pedigree was understandably doubted at the time, and despite keeping Everton in the top flight last season it likely still will be having been sacked.

He is as much of a star name as Rooney and that hasn’t been enough to save him, so the only real selling point to bringing the former Goodison striker in is his status as a club-legend, but that doesn’t seem anywhere near enough on its own to rescue this season.

Farhad Moshiri has to get this right or relegation looks inevitable, and given his track record on decision-making there are understandably going to be frayed nerves among the fans.