Wayne Rooney to Leave DC United, Join Derby County in Player-Coach Role

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 04: Wayne Rooney #9 of D.C. United in action 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

Wayne Rooney will sign for Derby County as a player-coach in January on an 18-month deal.

DC United confirmed on Tuesday he will depart the club at the end of the 2019 MLS season:

D.C. United @dcunited

“I remain fully focused on giving my all for the team for the rest of this season and repaying the support shown by the Black-and-Red faithful by hopefully delivering an MLS Cup to Audi Field.” - @WayneRooney #DCU https://t.co/uB8ywLmQhO

Derby announced there will be the option of a further year in his contract. 

Rooney, 33, joined the MLS side in June 2018 from Everton, penning a three-and-a-half-year deal.

He has largely impressed in the United States, netting 23 goals in 43 league appearances for the Washington, D.C. outfit.

Per BBC Sport's Simon Stoneat last week's MLS All-Stars match against Atletico Madrid, Rooney spoke about his coaching aspirations:

"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 should be a major asset at Derby as they look to earn promotion to the Premier League.

He is no longer at the peak of his powers, but the former Manchester United forward has displayed his knack for goalscoring in MLS.

As United and England's all-time record goalscorer, Derby could hardly have hoped to add a player with more experience to their side.

The Rams gave Frank Lampard his first senior management role last season, and he led them to the play-off final before departing to take over Chelsea.

Phillip Cocu was appointed as Lampard's successor, and Rooney will join his team of coaches as well as his playing staff.