Soccer Football – FA Cup Fifth Round – Derby County v Manchester United – Pride Park, Derby, Britain – March 5, 2020 Derby County’s Wayne Rooney reacts REUTERS/Andrew Yates
Wayne Rooney says he is willing to take his first job in management with Championship strugglers Derby as the former Manchester United star prepares to be part of the interim coaching set-up against Bristol City on Saturday.
Derby have appointed a temporary coaching quartet of Rooney, Liam Rosenior, Justin Walker and Shay Given following the sacking of Phillip Cocu.
After watching former England team-mates Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard go into management, Rooney has been keen to follow in their footsteps since returning to English football with Derby.
Lampard spent one season in charge of Derby before taking over at Chelsea and Rooney has signalled his interest in the chance to save the Rams from relegation.
“I’ve made it quite clear in the last few years my ambition is to go into management, especially with guys like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Scott Parker all getting good jobs and doing really well,” Rooney said.
“I wouldn’t be an ambitious person if I said I didn’t want the job.”
Derby are awaiting the completion of a takeover bid led by Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al-Nahyan – cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour – before making their next move, with Rooney and his fellow coaches having an introductory video call with the prospective new owners this week.
Rooney remains a player-coach, but the 35-year-old’s ambition to manage suggests his playing days could be coming to an end.
“While I’m in this position, I’ll give myself a new three-year deal!” he joked.
“I know I’m in the twilight of my career. We’ll have to wait and see what happens moving forward.
“For now I’ve got my toes in both dressing rooms, as a player and trying to help lead the team, and we’ll see where this takes us.”