Former England striker Wayne Rooney to join Championship club Derby County as player-manager in 2020
Former England captain Wayne Rooney will bring to an end his time in the MLS by moving to Derby County, in the English Championship, as player and coach.
The move will see Rooney join the English club from Major League Soccer outfit DC United in January 2020 on an initial 18-month contract
Rooney held a contract until 2021 with MLS team DC United
Rooney joins former England teammate Frank Lampard with first managerial gig at Derby County
Wayne Rooney is on his way to Championship side Derby County just hours after owner Mel Morris confirmed on Tuesday that the club were attempting to finalise a move for the former England captain.
The move will see Rooney join the English club from Major League Soccer outfit DC United in January 2020 on an initial 18-month contract with an option to extend it for a year.
Besides donning the number 32 jersey upon joining, Rooney will also hold coaching responsibilities "and continue to develop his coaching credentials in preparation for a potential managerial career".
"I am very excited about the opportunity that Derby County have provided me with," said Rooney in a statement on Derby County's website.
“I am looking forward to joining Phillip Cocu (the manager), his coaching staff and the first-team squad from the start of January. I am sure I can make a big contribution and can’t wait to meet everyone, especially the supporters."
"I am equally excited to begin my coaching career at Derby County working with both the first team and Academy."
"I must also take this opportunity to thank DC United, their owners, executives and supporters who have been superb to work with. I want them to know that I will give my all in support of our push for the play-offs."
Rooney's contract with DC United will end following the 2019 MLS season with the former England striker and captain looking to be closer to his family.
“I remain fully focused on giving my all for the team for the rest of this season and repaying the support shown by the Black-and-Red faithful by hopefully delivering an MLS Cup to Audi Field," Wayne Rooney, said to DC United's website. "My time in Major League Soccer is something I will always be proud of. The supporters in the Screaming Eagles, Barra Brava and District Ultras have made my time in America so enjoyable."
"While the decision to move home was a tough one, family is everything to us and we make this change to be closer to the ones we love back in England. The opportunity to go back home and start the next step of my career in coaching was the factor that made my mind up. I would like to thank everyone at D.C. United for the incredible support my family and I have received over my two seasons at the club.”
Rooney walks in on the same path as former England teammate Frank Lampard who also started his managerial role at Pride Park.
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 Monday.
Premier League side Burnley and second-tier West Brom were also reportedly interested in Rooney, who is the record goalscorer for England and Manchester United.
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."
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