Former Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney to become player-coach at Derby County

Wayne Rooney looks set to join Derby County in January.
Wayne Rooney looks set to join Derby County in January.

Derby County have pulled off another coup by appointing former England captain Wayne Rooney as player-coach.

Rooney has agreed a deal that will see him join up with the Rams in January, with Derby first allowing the 33-year-old to see out the season with his current club DC United in America's MLS.

The former Everton and Manchester United star had spoken of his desire to return to England and continue working on his coaching badges, with Rams chairman Mel Morris having seen the opportunity to pull off another shock move following the high profile managerial appointments of Frank Lampard and Phillip Cocu over the last year or so.

Morris told TalkSport on Tuesday: "The starting point was that we understood Wayne was keen to return to the United Kingdom. We had a look and decided to see if we could actually do something on the back of that.

"The key thing was conversation he had with Phillip Cocu."

Speaking last week, Rooney, who turns 34 in October, had expressed his wish to continue his coaching badges and become a head coach before too long.

He said after the MLS All-Stars match last week: "It's something which I want to stay involved in. My coaching badges are going well.

"I'm obviously still a player and I want to continue to play. When the time is right I can go into coaching or management."

Rooney made over 550 appearances for Manchester United, winning the Champions League and Europa League as well as every domestic honour whilst at Old Trafford. He also made 120 appearances for England and is the country's record goalscorer with 53.

Once the Rooney deal was announced, the Rams then confirmed a record sponsorship deal had been agreed with existing shirt sponsors 32Red, with 32 also being the shirt number Rooney has been allocated once he arrives at Pride Park.