Former Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney and Derby County have jointly confirmed that he will join the Championship club as a player-coach in January from MLS side DC United.
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United and England’s all-time record goalscorer, will join the Rams on an initial 18-month contract.
Who's made the biggest impact since coming to MLS: Zlatan or Rooney? pic.twitter.com/MCf46ONbEz
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 6, 2019
The 33-year-old has scored 23 goals in 41 league games since signing for Washington-based DC from Everton in July 2018 and obviously can’t wait to open a new chapter in his career.
“I’m sure I can make a big contribution,” said Rooney.
“While the decision to move home was a tough one, family is everything to us and we make this change to be closer to the ones we love back in England,” he added.
“I am very excited about the opportunity Derby County have provided me with. I am looking forward to joining [Derby manager] Phillip Cocu, his coaching staff and the first-team squad from the start of January.
“I am equally excited to begin my coaching career at Derby County, working with both the first team and academy.”
📸 Cocu & Rooney pic.twitter.com/PmLmJIzqtg
— FutbolArena (@futbolarena) August 6, 2019
Derby are currently under the management of former Netherlands midfielder Cocu. He took over after Rooney’s former England team-mate Frank Lampard left for Chelsea last month.
Cocu has guided last term’s playoff finalists to a bright start in the new season, having recorded a pleasing 2-1 win at Huddersfield on Monday.
“The inspiration and motivation this can generate is massive for all of our players from the first team right through to the youngsters in the academy,” said Cocu.
“To have a player with his leadership, skill, experience, character and work ethic will be huge for us.”
However, Rooney’s former United team-mate, Rio Ferdinand believes that the incoming Derby County player-coach Wayne Rooney’s ultimate aim is to become Manchester United manager.
Former Manchester United captain, Rio Ferdinand has revealed that Rooney is already looking beyond his role at Pride Park towards Old Trafford, following the Frank Lampard blueprint.
“His endgame is managing Manchester United, 100 per cent,” Ferdinand told several British newspapers.
Wazza… you need picking up in the morning to go Derby?! 🚘 @WayneRooney
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) August 6, 2019
“It’s a fact. If he tells you any different, he’s lying. He will want to do that.
“Only time will tell if he’s going to be the man to be able to do that.
“A lot of things have got to marry up for that to happen. Frank was right place, right time.
“Can that happen for Wayne? We’ll see.”
“He’s not scared of sharing his opinion, which is a good thing.
“He can be hard to read sometimes, which I think is something that’s good to have in a manager as well.
“I think he’s got a good understanding of today’s player. He’s that age. He’s still connected to the younger generation. He can talk the language.
“There are a lot of managers out there now who are a bit detached from the next generation. It’s so different now.”
Rooney is United’s record goalscorer, netting 253 times in 559 appearances in all competitions.