United icon Rooney set to join Championship club
It has been confirmed that Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney will make an unexpected return to English football in January 2020, as a player-coach with Derby County.
The Championship club has reported the 33-year-old will arrive from Major League Soccer outfit DC United on an initial 18-month contract until the summer of 2021, with the option of a further year.
Rooney will see out the remainder of the 2019 MLS season with DC United, before returning to the UK with Derby under the tutelage of their new manager Phillip Cocu – who was appointed earlier this summer after previous Rams boss Frank Lampard left to take charge of Chelsea.
“I am very excited about the opportunity that Derby County have provided me with.
“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.”
Cocu, who became a PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona legend during his famous playing career, also 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.”
Good luck to Wayne in the next chapter of his career.
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