Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is set for a High Court date with Everton manager Dave Moyes next May.

The Daily Express says talks between lawyers aimed at settling a libel wrangle out of court are understood to have broken down.

Moyes' defamation case against HarperCollins, the publishers of Rooney's autobiography, will be an unwanted distraction for the player as Manchester United's season reaches its climax.

It will also come a few weeks before the finals of Euro 2008. The case is bound to provoke embarrassment at Goodison, too, with former and current Everton players likely to be called as witnesses - by both sides. One of Rooney's best friends is Everton defender Alan Stubbs.

Rooney alleged in his book that a rift had developed between him and Moyes in his final year at Everton and that he felt he was being forced out of the club.