Derby County have confirmed that Wayne Rooney will join the club in a player-coach role in January 2020.
New Derby boss Phillip Cocu wants an experienced English player to work alongside and play under him, with owner Mel Morris keen to follow the ‘Frank Lampard’ template, which saw Derby reach the playoff final last season.
The former Manchester United captain has spent the last year playing for DC United in the MLS, where he has claimed 25 goals in 44 appearances.
The Rams confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Rooney, following talks with the Championship side over the weekend, would return to England once the MLS season finishes at the end of the calendar year.
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) August 6, 2019
Rooney has spoken previously of his determination to enter management once his playing days are over. The 33-year-old, who left Old Trafford in 2017, has been undergoing his coaching qualifications for several years now.
The offer from Derby county, a second division club with a first-rate coaching infrastructure, would have been too good to turn down. Their exciting, young team beat Man United at Old Trafford last season and condemned Leeds United to another season in the Championship, all while playing high-pressing, ambitious football which produced some thrilling games.
One thing always seems to elude them, though: the Premier League. With Rooney in their midst, they have a personality capable of willing players to perform at a higher level.