London - Wayne Rooney could be on his way to Championship side Derby after
owner Mel Morris confirmed on Tuesday that the club were attempting to
finalise a move for the former England captain.
The 33-year-old has been linked with a player-coach role at Pride
Park, where his former England teammate Frank Lampard was given his
first opportunity in management last year.
He is under contract at MLS side DC United until the end of the 2021
season but reports suggest his wife Coleen is homesick and has returned
to Britain with their children.
Reports of Derby's interest in the former Manchester United star
emerged shortly before the side, under new boss Phillip Cocu, opened
their Championship campaign with a 2-1 victory at Huddersfield on
"It's literally only been a couple of days in the offing," Derby owner Mel Morris told Talksport.
"The starting point was that we understood he (Rooney) was keen to
return to the UK and we decided to see if we could do something off the
back of that.
"It's never done until it's done and obviously we are very focused and keen to get this over the line."
Premier League side Burnley and second-tier West Brom have also
reportedly declared an interest in Rooney, who is the record goalscorer
for England and United.
Rooney has engineered an upturn in DC United's fortunes since he
arrived from Everton and teammate Steve Birnbaum said he had had a major
"He's changed everything, he's changed the culture of the club," Birnbaum told the Daily Telegraph.
"The work ethic he puts in during practice and you guys see it in the
games. We have this sort of confidence or swag going into games because
Rooney gave short shrift to questions about his future last week.
"Is that what was in the media? That my wife has got her own way?" he told AFP.
"Those reports are a bit far-fetched. I'm concentrating on playing
for DC United and trying to get them into the playoffs. I haven't
thought about anything beyond that."
Rooney has made no secret of his desire to move into coaching
following contempories including Ryan Giggs, John Terry, Steven Gerrard
and Phil Neville.
"Coaching is something which I have thought about for a long time," Rooney said.
"I'm in the process now of going through my badges. It would be a
shame for me to finish playing and just walk away from the game.
"I have a desire to go into management and hopefully the right opportunity will come up."