Derby boss Wayne Rooney insists he remains committed to the Rams amid claims he is emerging as a leading candidate to replace Steve Bruce at Newcastle.
Bruce finally learned his fate on Wednesday morning as new owners PIF called time on his reign. Indeed, his departure comes just 13 days after the club’s takeover by a Saudi-led consortium. However, in a statement, they stated the 60-year-old leaves his position by mutual consent.
The statement said: “Newcastle United can confirm that Steve Bruce has left his position as head coach by mutual consent.
“He leaves the Magpies after more than two years in charge, having steered the club to 13th and 12th-place finishes in the Premier League and reaching the quarter-final stage in both the Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup during his tenure.
“Newcastle United would like to place on record its gratitude to Steve for his contribution and wishes him well for the future.”
The struggling club also confirmed that Graeme Jones will lead the team on an interim basis.
Thoughts will now turn to whom Newcastle appoint as his successor.
Indeed, an ambitious report on Wednesday morning claims majority owner Mohammed bin Salman wants to ‘imitate’ a European giant by bringing in Diego Simeone.
Any move for Atletico Madrid boss Simeone, however, does seem a touch ambitious. As such, more realistic names emerging are Steven Gerrard and Paulo Fonseca.
Rooney has also been linked with the vacancy, with a report on Tuesday citing him as a potential candidate.
Rooney, however, has been quick to play down the speculation and insists his energies remain with the Rams.
When asked about the links on, Rooney told DerbyshireLive: “I saw that Tuesday morning.
“From my point of view I cannot stop speculation, I get that. But I have had no contact at all with Newcastle United and obviously, as I have stated before, I am committed to this football club.”
The Rams’ perilous situation means few would forgive Rooney for looking to jump ship.
However, England’s all-time leading goalscorer insists he’s never once considered throwing in the towel.
“I’ve said a few times over the months that I am committed to this club,” he added. “I’m committed to the group of players, I am committed to the staff, I care about them.
“I will keep doing everything I can to help us get through this. I think we will get through this for the better.
“We are going to have tough times ahead in the near future, I know that but it is my job now to start rebuilding this club and put it back together.”
TEAMtalk’s verdict on Newcastle links to Rooney
Rooney should not be considered for Newcastle job
There have been a number of sources claiming that current Derby manager Wayne Rooney is on Newcastle's shortlist as their next manager.
Newcastle told Steven Gerrard not an option
Rangers boss Gerrard is reportedly a strong candidate for the job.
However, his former England teammate Rio Ferdinand insists Gerrard will only leave Ibrox if and when Jurgen Klopp departs the Liverpool job.
Speaking on his FIVE YouTube channel, Ferdinand said: “Even Steven Gerrard, I see his name mentioned alongside the job as well. I can’t see someone like him going there because I just feel that his eyes are on Liverpool.
“How much longer can Klopp stay at Liverpool? I mean, Klopp could be there for five more years, but easily you could see him one day, because of the character he seems to be, turn around in 18 months and say, ‘Listen, this is me’.
“So I just see that Steven Gerrard will be looking at Liverpool as his next step rather than somewhere like Newcastle.”