Just over 12 months after joining MLS franchise DC United, Wayne Rooney could be set for a shock return to English football.
According to the Telegraph, the former Manchester United, Everton and England striker is in talks to become a player-coach at Championship side Derby County.
Preliminary talks between the Rams and Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford have reportedly already taken place, with a further meeting to follow.
If it comes off, the 33-year-old would become part of Philip Cocu’s backroom staff while also being registered as a player.
"There are a few more days and hopefully soon I can tell you something more." 👀
Phillip Cocu was giving nothing away tonight when asked about the possible arrival of Wayne Rooney at Derby County following reports the striker is set to join as a player-coach. 🐏 pic.twitter.com/Fdye2zzGCY
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) August 5, 2019
Rooney still has another year left to run on his contract in Washington but England’s all-time leading goalscorer is understood to be keen to move into coaching once his playing days come to an end.
Last week, a report from The Sun also claimed that Rooney’s wife Coleen is keen on a return to the UK.
Speaking about his future recently, Rooney said: “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.”
A player-coach role would therefore seem like the ideal step for Rooney at this stage in his career.
The five-time Premier League champion has scored 23 times in 42 appearances since moving to DC United, having previously scored a club record 253 goals for Manchester United in between two spells at boyhood club Everton.