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Wayne Rooney Reportedly in Talks with Derby County About Player-Coach Role

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 04: Wayne Rooney #9 of D.C. United passes the ball in the second half against the Philadelphia Union at Audi Field on August 4, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Former Manchester United star and current DC United striker Wayne Rooney is reportedly in talks with Championship club Derby County to take on the role of player-coach.

According to the Telegraph's James Ducker, he would work under current manager Phillip Cocu, who replaced Chelsea boss Frank Lampard in the summer.

Rooney previously talked about his desire to become a manager after his playing days are over, per Ducker: 

"I'm taking the steps to get my badges completed and when I finish playing I'll see what opportunities come up. There's already offers which have been made, but at the minute I'm still a player and I want to enjoy playing, and then I'll see which offers are right when I do finish."

The 33-year-old left England for MLS in 2018, finding immediate success with DC United. He scored 12 goals in 21 matches in his debut season and was voted team MVP. This tremendous effort was arguably his top moment of the campaign:

According to Ducker, he's contracted to DC United until 2020.

His strong play in MLS would indicate he could still be an effective option up front for Derby, who qualified for the play-offs last season before losing to Aston Villa in the final. His experience at the top level could be what pushes the Rams over the top and into the Premier League.

Player-coaches are rare in football, but not unheard of. Vincent Kompany left Premier League champions Manchester City for a similar role with boyhood club Anderlecht in the summer.