Birmingham City

Birmingham City


Wayne Rooney to become next Birmingham manager as Man Utd legend pencils in Premier League icons as assistants

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney is close to agreeing a deal to become the new Birmingham City manager, TEAMtalk understands, with reports elsewhere naming who could be on his staff.

Rooney left his post with DC United this week after 15 months in charge of the MLS side he used to play for. It was his second role in management after his spell with Derby County between 2020 and 2022.

DC United decided to split from Rooney after they failed to qualify for the MLS play-offs for the second season in a row.

The former Manchester United captain has quickly emerged as a candidate to return to management in the Championship with Birmingham.

TEAMtalk has been told that Birmingham’s new US owners will replace current boss John Eustace and have identified Rooney as their top target to take over on the touchline.

Rooney recently admitted he was due to return to England after his departure from DC United, although he stopped short of saying he had a new job lined up.

“It’s just the right time,” said Rooney. “I think I’ve done everything I can to try and get the club into (the) play-offs. It’s not one single thing which has happened, it’s about timing in your career. I have really enjoyed my time here. But I just feel it’s the right time to go back to England. What lies ahead, I don’t know.”

At the time of the October international break, Birmingham are sixth in the Championship table, occupying the last play-off spot. They have won five of their 11 league games under Eustace this season.

Eustace’s timeframe as Birmingham boss runs similarly to Rooney’s in Washington, since he was appointed in July 2022 as a successor to Lee Bowyer. Birmingham finished 17th in the second tier last season.

They have been out of the Premier League since 2011, when they were relegated after a two-year stay in the top flight.

Two teammates to join Rooney staff

According to 5 Live Sport presenter Aaron Paul, Rooney will appoint two of his former teammates – one from club level and one international – to his coaching staff at St. Andrew’s.

Ex-Man Utd defender John O’Shea and Rooney’s ex-England colleague Ashley Cole are due to be added to the backroom team.

Cole has already worked as an assistant manager to Frank Lampard at Everton and Chelsea. O’Shea, meanwhile, has been an assistant at clubs like Reading and Stoke City.

Both of the 42-year-olds have worked with their national teams in the youth ranks as well, so will provide some further experience for Rooney, 37, to lean upon.

In a legendary playing career, Rooney became the all-time top scorer for Man Utd, as well as England until Harry Kane overtook him.

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