Derby boss Phillip Cocu was tight-lipped regarding Wayne Rooney joining the club as a player-coach but Sky Sports News understands talks are at an advanced stage.
England's all-time leading goalscorer is due to fly to London on Tuesday, to discuss the details of the surprise deal.
He still has two years left on his current DC United contract in the MLS, but it's thought plans are in place for a deal to cancel that, and allow Rooney to move to England.
Rooney has spoken publicly of his desire to pursue a career in management when he retires as a player, and Sky Sports understands he sees Derby as an ideal opportunity to learn the ropes while also prolonging his playing career.
The 33-year-old was a big admirer of Louis van Gaal's coaching methods when he was at Manchester United, and he has been convinced that Derby's current boss, Cocu, has a similar approach to his countryman.
Rooney sees this role as an ideal opportunity to gain some coaching experience, while also returning home to England to be nearer his wider family.
If negotiations go well, he could be confirmed as a Derby player and coach within days.
New Derby boss Cocu, who oversaw a 2-1 win at Huddersfield in his first game in charge, was reluctant to comment on the story but certainly seemed open to the idea of signing Rooney.
Cocu told Sky Sports: "At the moment I can't say anything. Like I said before the game we are working on completing the team. It isn't complete yet. I cannot say anything about names before things are done.
"We have a lot of players we think could be an asset for the team. You always try to get the best you can with the resources at the club. A few more days then hopefully I can say something more."
WATCH: Chris Powell says Wayne Rooney would be a sensational signing for Derby
DC United have already lined up Rooney's replacement. A £2m fee has been agreed with Chinese club Shenzhen for Norway striker Ola Kamara, who would take Rooney's "Designated Player" slot.
Kamara, who has played for Columbus Crew and LA Galaxy, was in the crowd for DC United's 5-1 defeat to Philadelphia at the weekend.
Follow Deadline Day on Sky Sports
It's Transfer Deadline Day for the Premier League and Championship on Thursday - and Sky Sports will be bringing you all the latest news on who your club is signing.
Start your day with Deadline Day Breakfast (6am) ahead of a special Good Morning Transfers show (9am), with Deadline Day - The Countdown (4pm) taking you to the 5pm deadline.
The Transfer Show - Deadline Day at 6pm will analyse the big moves before Deadline Day at Ten rounds up all the transfer headlines.