Sunday 25 August, 2019

Rooney on verge of Derby County deal, club owner confirms

Former Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney.

Former Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney.

Derby County are "confident" of completing a deal to sign ex-England captain Wayne Rooney on Tuesday, according to club owner Mel Morris.

Rooney, 33, is set to make a surprise return to English football in what is expected to be a player-coach role in support of Rams boss Phillip Cocu.

According to reports, the former Everton and Manchester United forward could see out the MLS season at DC United before moving to Pride Park in January.

Talks look set to continue moving quickly after Rooney flew into London's Heathrow Airport on Tuesday.

"It's only literally been a couple of days. I suppose the starting point was we understood Wayne was keen to return to the UK and of course we had a look at the situation and decided to see if we could actually do something on the back of that," Morris told talkSPORT.

"The key thing for me is the conversation he had with Phillip Cocu, which was absolutely critical to the interest that Wayne has.

"It's never done until it's done but we're obviously focused and very keen to get it over the line this morning [Tuesday].

"I'm sure once people hear news of this - obviously it broke last night which I suppose is unfortunate - you're going to get interest. I'm confident it will get sorted out but ultimately it's never done until it's done. We'll see how we go."

Rooney moved to the United States in June 2018 following a single season back at boyhood club Everton, whom he originally left for United over a decade earlier.

England's most-capped outfield player boasts 23 goals in MLS, including 11 from 22 starts this term.

Morris said: "From my side of it, why wouldn't you want a player of his background?

"His playing career has been phenomenal, he's demonstrated his leadership qualities over there in America.

"I can guarantee you Phillip Cocu is excited about this as well."

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: