Wayne Rooney: Frank Lampard suggested Derby County sign striker a year ago

England's midfielder Frank Lampard (L) and forward Wayne Rooney warm up ahead of the Group D football match between Costa Rica and England at The Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte on June 24, 2014,during the 2014 FIFA World Cup . AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN
Image: Former Derby manager Frank Lampard was first to suggest the club sign his ex-England team-mate Wayne Rooney, Sky Sports News has learned

Derby first approached Wayne Rooney to join the Championship side over a year ago, before he signed up for DC United, Sky Sports News has learned.

Frank Lampard had just been appointed Derby manager, and in one of his first moves he suggested the club try to sign his former England team-mate Rooney as a player in order to mount a promotion push in the Championship.

preview image 3:17
As Rooney prepares for a return to English football, we count down his five greatest Premier League goals

At that stage, it was only a player deal that was mooted with Rooney's representatives. Since then, more detailed discussions highlighted that the role of player-coach was much more attractive to both parties.

Meanwhile, Derby have denied that their shirt sponsor, 32 Red, has helped in any way to fund Rooney's wages.

Wayne Rooney shakes hands with Derby County manager Phillip Cocu during a press conference at Pride Park
Image: Rooney shakes hands with Derby manager Phillip Cocu during a press conference at Pride Park

Rooney will wear the No 32 shirt when he joins Derby in January. Sky Sports News has confirmed that decision is a nod to their new sponsor.

Derby say the betting company's investment is as a direct result of the club recruiting England's all-time leading scorer, and that Rooney's arrival helped seal the biggest sponsorship deal in the club's history. It is understood a host of potential new sponsors have been in touch with the club since Rooney was confirmed as a Derby player.

Derby County owner Mel Morris watches on from the stands
Image: Derby owner Mel Morris says signing Rooney will increase the club's commercial revenues

Mel Morris told Sky Sports News he expects Rooney's wages to be much smaller than the increased commercial revenues the club will earn as a result of having such a high profile player on their books.

Also See:

Wayne Rooney during a press conference at Pride Park 1:45
Southend's Liam Ridgewell believes Rooney is still fit enough to handle the rigours of the Championship when he joins Derby from DC United in January

Follow Deadline Day on Sky Sports

It's Transfer Deadline Day for the Premier League and Championship on Thursday August 8 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.

As well as tuning into Sky Sports News, don't miss a thing with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

Watch more games this season for less with our Total Football Offer: Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Premier League channels for just £18 extra a month!

Soccer Saturday Super 6 is Back

Soccer Saturday Super 6 is Back

FREE TO PLAY: £2m jackpot if £2m Players Enter

Around Sky