Rooney drops key doubt after confirming Everton manager stance, as Duncan Ferguson weighs in

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney on the touchline during the Sky Bet Championship match at Pride Park

Derby County boss Wayne Rooney has said that he feels “flattered” to have had links with taking the Everton manager job following Rafael Benitez’s sacking.

The Toffees are once again looking for a new boss after Benitez got his marching orders for a poor run of form. Duncan Ferguson is in interim charge, but there is doubt as to whether he will take the job full time.

As such, Everton have looked at three names as they hunt Benitez’s successor. Former Toffees star Rooney and Frank Lampard have both been earmarked as candidates.

Meanwhile, Everton have also reportedly interviewed former Italy defender Fabio Cannavaro.

But Rooney has gained the most traction of any potential new Everton manager amid his Goodison Park links.

Nevertheless, Derby being in administration means his situation is more complicated, a fact that Rooney admitted in a press conference on Friday.

The 36-year-old said: “I’m the same as everyone else, I see the speculation on social media and in the newspapers. Of course Everton is a club I grew up supporting.

“I’m flattered to get brought up in those conversations, but I know Everton know that to have any communication with me they have to go through the administrators.”

Ferguson gives Rooney, Everton verdict

Rooney and Lampard to be interviewed for Everton job

Everton are looking for their new manager with Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard set to be interviewed for the position

For now, though, former Everton striker Ferguson is in caretaker charge. A club statement confirmed his position for the “upcoming games” without specifying a time frame.

The Scot said of the potential of Rooney taking over: “Well I wouldn’t get dragged into naming too many names and who would be a good fit.

“But certainly Wayne has done really well at Derby hasn’t he? He’s an Evertonian and the fans love him.

When will Salah, Mahrez, Mane and the rest of AFCON Premier League players return?

“Obviously that can be one candidate of many candidates. Wayne’s obviously proved at Derby he’s a very good manager.”

What’s more, Ferguson appeared to rule himself out of taking the Everton job for the long term.

Ferguson rules out Everton job

Rafa Benitez, Duncan Ferguson, Everton, November 2021.

“I think maybe down the line, maybe one day,” he said. “I’ll always dream about becoming Everton manager, but of course I’ve not quite got that experience.

“My job at the moment is to take the upcoming games, steady the ship and the club will go through a process identifying the new manager. I’m sure they’ll do that and they’ll bring the new manager in.

“You never know in football do you? But at the moment, my job is to focus on the next game, that’s it.

“I focus on the next game and what happens down the line will be up to the club. We’re always looking for the best managers in the world and I’m sure we’ll find that.”

Ferguson was speaking ahead of his first game in charge against Aston Villa in the Premier League.