Wayne Rooney confirmed as Derby County player-coach

By Vincent Ashitey
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney's move to Derby County has been confirmed by the Rams - although he won't join until January.

Manchester United legend Rooney flew into the UK on Tuesday morning to finalise a deal to become a player-coach at Derby after moving from DC United.

Rooney will complete the current MLS season before linking up with Phillip Cocu and his Derby teammates in January, after signing an 18-month contract, which has the option of an additional year.

“I am looking forward to joining Phillip Cocu, 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.”

County faced late competition from Burnley and West Brom for the signing.

Cocu said: “Wayne Rooney is an extremely talented and top-class footballer.

“It is an exciting prospect for him to be joining Derby County and he can bring so much to this squad, both on and off the pitch. He has enjoyed a wonderful career, both in club football and for England, and he still has so much to give as well.

“His credentials speak for themselves. But to have a player with his leadership, skill, experience, character and work ethic will be huge for us. He knows what it takes to succeed as a player and I have no doubt he will have a positive impact right across the club.

“The inspiration and motivation this can generate is massive for all of our players from the first team right through to the youngsters in the Academy. It is entirely in keeping with, and in support of, the club’s philosophy and approach.

“I am looking forward to working with Wayne from the start of next year and welcoming him to the club.”

Rooney has been in spectacular form since moving to MLS side DC United from Everton last summer. 

The 33-year-old has netted a series of eye-catching goals as he collected 25 notches in 45 games.

Rooney is both England and Manchester United's all-time greatest goalscorer, having netted 253 times for the Red Devils over 13 seasons and 53 over his international career.