John Terry: Aston Villa assistant among frontrunners for Derby job after takeover

Aston Villa assistant John Terry understood to be excited by prospect of substantial investment at Derby; Wayne Rooney remains in interim charge and is also keen on taking the job full time; Derby are bottom of the Championship

John Terry is considering following former team-mate Frank Lampard by starting his managerial career at Derby
Image: John Terry is considering following former team-mate Frank Lampard by starting his managerial career at Derby

John Terry is among the frontrunners to be the next manager of Derby County, once the club's takeover is complete.

Sky Sports News can confirm newspaper reports linking Terry to the Derby job, which the current Aston Villa assistant coach sees as an excellent first opportunity in management.

Terry has made no secret of his desire to become a 'number one' and was impressed by what his friend and former Stamford Bridge team-mate, Frank Lampard, achieved in his first step into management at Derby.

It is understood Terry is also excited by the prospect of substantial new investment in the club by a prominent member of the Abu Dhabi royal family.

Sheikh Khaled's Derventio Holdings is going through the final legal stages of buying out current owner Mel Morris, who is assisting with the pursuit of a new manager alongside senior members of Sheikh Khaled's executive team.

Image: Wayne Rooney is in temporary charge at Pride Park and has expressed his interest in taking the job full-time

Terry's former England team-mate, Wayne Rooney, is currently in interim charge of the Derby team, and he too is keen to take on the job full-time once the new owners are in place.

The possible appointment of Terry could be seen as controversial after a past incident involving the former Chelsea captain was the focus of a BBC documentary on Monday evening.

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Former West Ham, QPR and Sunderland defender Anton Ferdinand spoke about the guilt he felt at not speaking out during his high-profile racism case against Terry in a special one-off programme - Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism and Me.

during the FA Cup with Budweiser Fourth Round match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on January 28, 2012 in London, England.
Image: Anton Ferdinand has spoken openly in a new documentary about the incident involving himself and Terry

Terry was accused of using racist language during a Premier League match between QPR and Chelsea in October, 2011.

Although Terry was acquitted in a criminal case related to the incident, after it was judged it could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt the words were spoken as abuse, a Football Association independent disciplinary panel, working to a lower threshold, did find him guilty.

Derby, who are rock bottom of the Championship, play Coventry at Pride Park on Tuesday - live on Sky Sports via the red button.

Terry a good fit for Derby - Lampard

Lampard, who spent one season at Pride Park before taking charge of Chelsea in 2019, has backed his "hungry" former team-mate Terry to succeed whenever he makes the step up into management.

Asked if Tery would be a good fit for Derby, Lampard responded: "Yeah. I think John is destined to be a manager.

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Frank Lampard says former Chelsea captain John Terry would be a good fit for Derby

"He is obviously working very well alongside Dean [Smith] over the last few years at Aston Villa, so he would have been learning a lot. What John knows through his own experiences will be huge, I know that from playing alongside him for so long, what he has to offer.

"I think it's a great opportunity potentially for him, if true, and for Derby I have a lot of affection for Derby in my time there. A short one year there but I know what a great club it is, what great fans they have, what a great feeling there is in the city for the club.

John Terry the Assistant Head Coach of Aston Villa stands on the touchline with Derby County manager \ head coach Frank Lampard the Sky Bet Championship Play-off Final match between Aston Villa and Derby County at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.
Image: Frank Lampard (R) was Derby manager when the club lost the 2019 Championship play-off final to Aston Villa, where Terry is an assistant coach under Dean Smith

"John would be a hungry and ambitious manager, whether it's Derby or whatever type of opportunities come his way. I don't know anything, but he will be a fantastic coach."

Rooney learning to adapt to new Derby role

Rooney says he is getting used to the difference between managing and playing after a difficult start to life as the Rams' interim boss.

Having sacked Phillip Cocu on November 14, his side lost their first two matches - with Rooney one of four coaches in temporary charge - before drawing their most recent game with fellow strugglers Wycombe after Rooney had taken control of managerial duties.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Wycombe Wanderers

"It is different preparation in terms of the hour or so before kick-off. As a player you are getting ready and preparing to go and do your warm-up and then go and play the game," Rooney told RamsTV.

"There was a bit of dead time which for myself personally I just tried to use to relax and you're just waiting around for the game to start.

"I didn't want to give the players too much information as we had done all the preparation, so I tried to stay away from them for a bit. Saturday was different, but it was how I expected it."

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