Premier League • England

Wayne Rooney says he is ‘ready’ for Premier League, but turns down Everton offer

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

Everton icon Wayne Rooney has admitted he has turned down the opportunity to be interviewed for the vacant position at his former club.

Derby boss Rooney has been linked with a return to Goodison Park since Rafa Benitez was sacked earlier this month. Everton are struggling and desperate to bring some good news to a fanbase that turned on Benitez. And which now has now turned on the club’s ownership.

The Mirror claim Rooney is unwilling to enter into a “beauty pageant” alongside the likes of Vitor Pereira and Frank Lampard.

Pereira has been interviewed twice by the board, but he will again speak to owner Farhad Moshiri once again.

Meanwhile Lampard will also reportedly have a third interview after speaking with chairman Bill Kenwright and Moshiri.

Current assistant boss Duncan Ferguson will also get the chance to push his claims to become the permanent boss.

Rooney, 36, who played almost 100 times for Everton in two spells, was the fourth man on the shortlist.

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Speaking at a Derby press conference on Friday, Rooney said: “Everton approached my agent and asked me to interview for the vacant job, which I turned down.

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Rooney has given Derby hope

“I have a job here I am doing, which is an important job to me and that means me getting the team ready for Sunday.

“I believe I will be a Premier League manager. And I believe I’m ready for that, 100 per cent.

“If that is with Everton one day in the future that would be absolutely great.”

Rooney has been described as Derby’s ‘guardian angel’.

“It is the first time I have been called that. The fans see what we are trying to do and it is our best. There is pressure with any job. And I am trying to get the players to be the best they can be on the pitch,” added the former England star.

Rooney has impressed under difficult circumstances at Derby this season. The Rams have been deducted 21 points for the off-the-field matters, but Rooney has guided them to eight wins and 11 draws and a chance of survival.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Newcastle, Leeds among quintet of Prem clubs chasing Blackburn centre-back