Wayne Rooney's Derby deal to begin in January
Derby owner Mel Morris tells Sky Sports News: "We’re working hard to get the deal over the line - I’m sure we can get it done today."
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 06/08/19 2:13pm
Wayne Rooney is at Derby's training ground ahead of his move to Pride Park, with his deal at the Championship club due to begin in January, Sky Sports News understands.
The 33-year-old is set to join the Rams as a player-coach just over a year after leaving English football to join MLS side DC United.
Rooney will not join Derby until next year, however, in order to complete DC's 2019 season, which is due to finish no later than November.
Rooney, who is the record goalscorer for both England and Manchester United, has two years remaining on his DC deal.
However, he has spoken previously of his desire to move into management once his playing career is over, and he is believed to see a move to Derby as a player-coach as the ideal first step on that road.
Rooney is known to have enjoyed working under Louis van Gaal at United, and is understood to see Phillip Cocu as a manager that operates in a similar way.
Cocu worked under Van Gaal on two separate occasions during his time as a Barcelona player between 1998 and 2004.
'We can complete Rooney deal today'
Derby owner Mel Morris, speaking to Sky Sports News, revealed that the club are confident of confirming Rooney's arrival at Pride Park as soon as today (Tuesday, August 8).
"We're working hard to get the deal over the line - I'm sure we can get it done today," he said.
"We heard that Wayne was looking to come back to the UK, so we enquired to see if we could help with that. It then stemmed from a conversation between Phillip Cocu (manager) and Wayne.
"Wayne wants to finish his season there (in the MLS). It's pivotal to them (DC United) as they are in the play-offs. He's very keen for that to happen, he wanted to see the season out. He'll join us in January if we can get the deal done.
"Wayne is coming here to play football for the club, but he's also wanting to accelerate his coaching badges, so a key thing for him, his long-term career ambitions, is to become a manager.
"Our time with Frank Lampard was great because it demonstrated our willingness to give people time, to work with them and give them time to develop. I think Wayne sees Derby as a good place to do that."
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