Wayne Rooney has revealed his long-term plan is to make sure he returns to Manchester United as manager.
At a black-tie dinner event in Manchester on Saturday night, Derby boss Rooney spoke to the audience on a wide-range of subjects. And while a lot of what he said was tongue in cheek, his management comments were deadly serious.
The 36-year-old, who retired in January 2021, is a legend at United. He is the club’s all-time leading scorer with 253 goals in 13 trophy-laden seasons. And the Derby boss has said his aim is to return as manager one day.
Of course United are currently in the midst of recruiting a permanent successor to Ralf Rangnick. Erik ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino are believed to be in the running.
Rooney though says he’s not ready yet, despite his efforts this season at Pride Park. The Rams have been hit with a 21-point deduction and sit bottom of the table, but Rooney has guided them to 11 wins and 13 draws, which would have them sitting in 17th place.
Rooney told the Mercure Hotel audience, via The Sun: “I will be honest, the whole reason for me going into management is Manchester United. I got offered the job interview for the Everton job.
“I am not ready now. But I have to plan everything I do to make sure that one day it will happen.”
Rooney was approached by his old club Everton in January before they appointed Frank Lampard. Bu t he refused to go for an interview, instead focusing on his job at Derby.
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Rooney, who scored a hat-trick on his United debut in 2004 against Fenerbahce, hopes that his scoring record is broken at Old Trafford.
And he hopes England man Marcus Rashford is the man to do it.
Rooney’s hope for Rashford
“To get the record and be Manchester United’s highest goal scorer, it is f***ing massive. But I hope the record is broken,” said Rooney.
“What I hope is that Marcus Rashford f***ing gets his head out of his a**e and goes and breaks that record. He’s a Manchester lad.”
Rooney also labelled Cristiano Ronaldo “annoying”, he joked: “Cristiano was so good and so f***ing annoying at the same time. He is probably not as good now but he is probably just as annoying.”
Mocking Ronaldo’s antics during the 2006 World Cup, he said: “He likes diving.”
Of course Ronaldo helped get Rooney sent off in England’s quarter-final defeat to Portugal after a stamp on Ricardo Carvalho.
“I had no issue with Cristiano whatsoever. I spoke to him in the tunnel. And I said, ‘I have no issue with you getting me sent off’, because I’d spent the first half trying to get him booked for diving.
“I am English, he is Portuguese. When we are playing I do not give a f*** about him. He is not my mate. But when we have finished, we are mates again,” added Rooney.