Wayne Rooney could replace Phillip Cocu as Derby manager by next week.
Rooney joined Derby as player-coach on an 18-month deal with the option of a further year in January and soon assumed a captaincy role at Pride Park.
The 34-year-old has been working under former PSV and Barcelona midfielder Cocu, the Dutchman having been appointed as manager in July 2019, but The Sun say the change could be made ‘by the start of next week’.
Derby, currently 20th in the Championship after winning one and losing three of their opening four league fixtures, host Watford on Friday in the game that will reportedly decide Cocu’s fate.
The same was true of their last match, with Cocu ‘only saved from the chop’ by Rooney’s free-kick winner against Norwich before the international break.
Derby owner Mel Morris will consider promoting Rooney despite his lack of the requisite coaching badges, meaning an experienced assistant such as John Gregory would be needed to work alongside him to begin with. Although…
I’ve been told this morning that this story is “laughable.” It is also important to note that Wayne Rooney and John Gregory have the same agent… Paul Stretford. Read into this what you will #dcfcfans
— Ed Dawes (@Ed__Dawes) October 15, 2020
The story has indeed been described as ‘laughable’ by BBC journalist and Derby commentator Ed Dawes, who happily points out that Rooney and Gregory share the same agent in Paul Stretford. How remarkably convenient.
Rooney has previously discussed his intention to move into management, describing it as “something I’d love to do” in 2017.
“Players who are playing in this generation do have enough money to not have to go into management, so the ones who want to do it will be successful,” he told the BBC.
“My whole life has been around football, and the minute I finish playing I would like to try and stay in the game and hopefully get the opportunity to manage.
“I think when you get a bit older you start to think a bit more about the game.”