Everton chairman Bill Kenwright says Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is welcome to return to Goodison Park in the near future despite his acrimonious exit from the club in 2004.
Rooney handed in a transfer request at the Toffees in order to force through a move to Old Trafford which was prompted by a falling out with David Moyes, who would later sue the England skipper for libel following allegations in the player's autobiography regarding his role in his exit.
But despite the furore which surrounded the move 11 years ago, Kenwright remains open to Rooney returning to Everton upon the end of his time with United but insists manager Roberto Martinez will make any final decision over new signings.
"He comes back to Goodison. He's an Evertonian and his family are. He is welcome to come back," Kenwright told BBC Radio Five Live.
"In all honesty, all I ever do is advise. I am not sidestepping the question. It is always going to be Roberto Martinez's choice."
Before his disastrous move to United as manager, Moyes said he believed Rooney would end his career at Everton and last season the Toffees captain Phil Jagileka stoked the flames last season when he said he was confident the 29-year-old would one day make a fateful return.
"Wayne still tries to support Everton as much as you can as someone still playing the game at a high level," said Jagielka. "Definitely he's still a Blue and still has affection for the club
"He gets a lot of stick from our fans, and it was bound to be a little bit difficult when he left -- it's the way it goes when someone leaves the club: If they don't slag you off and hate you, then you've not done very well for the club.
"It wasn't to be, and I don't know if he will end up back here. We'd obviously welcome him back, but he's done so much in his career and he's not going to come back and not perform at the heights he's done in his career.
"If he finished his career here he'd want to come back and make a difference, so the only way we could do that is to progress forward and get on his radar. It will be a tough one, it all depends on how his career pans out -- he's only 27 and still got a long time at the top level," Jagielka said last season.
Prior to being handed the United and England armband during the summer, Rooney signed a new contract at United worth a reported £300,000-a-week, keeping him with the 20-time English league champions until 2019.