WAYNE ROONEY is in the running to replace Rafa Benitez at Everton.

The Spaniard was sacked after he saw his side slump to a 2-1 defeat against relegation strugglers Norwich at the weekend.

And Benitez's sacking could see Rooney be handed his first top-flight managerial job.

Benitez spent just over £35million during his time at Everton, bringing in Demarai Gray, Andros Townsend, Asmir Begovic, Andy Lonergan, Solomon Rondon, Vitaliy Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson.

Gray and Townsend, in particular, have offered a good return for money.

But the rest have failed to make an impact.

Should Rooney replace Benitez, he could look to raid Derby and former club Manchester United in January to turn Everton's season around.

United have a number of fringe stars who could do a job for the Toffees.

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Jesse Lingard, Phil Jones and Donny van de Beek have all seen limited game time this term.

The trio have managed just 743 minutes between them across all competitions.

Lingard proved his worth at West Ham last season scoring nine goals and picking up five assists in a four-month period.

But he stayed at United in the summer to try and fight for his place, which he hasn't managed to do.

Should Everton sign Lingard, if he can replicate the form he showed for the Hammers, he could help fire the Toffees up the table.

Lingard could play in Everton's midfield or across the frontline.

Willing runner Van De Beek could form a formidable midfield three alongside Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure.

And Phil Jones could turn in some gutsy displays in the backline.

Rooney could also look to bring in Derby main man Tom Lawrence, who like Lingard can play across the front three.

And with Derby still in administration, a deal may not be too hard to strike.

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