Wayne Rooney excited after signing for Derby County

Date published: Tuesday 6th August 2019 2:25

Derby have confirmed that Wayne Rooney will join the club in January 2020.

He will link up with the Rams as a player-coach on an initial 18-month contract after he sees out the 2019 MLS season with DC United.

The 33-year-old will arrive from MLS until the summer of 2021, with the option of a further year.

The Rams’ website read: “As well as penning a playing contract with Derby, Rooney will join the club as a coach and continue to develop his coaching credentials in preparation for a potential managerial career.”

Rooney said: “I am very excited about the opportunity that Derby County have provided me with.

“I am looking forward to joining Phillip Cocu, his coaching staff and the first-team squad from the start of January. I am sure I can make a big contribution and can’t wait to meet everyone, especially the supporters.

“I am equally excited to begin my coaching career at Derby County working with both the first team and Academy.

“I must also take this opportunity to thank DC United, their owners, executives and supporters who have been superb to work with. I want them to know that I will give my all in support of our push for the play-offs.”

Philip Cocu told the club’s official website: “Wayne Rooney is an extremely talented and top-class footballer. It is an exciting prospect for him to be joining Derby County and he can bring so much to this squad, both on and off the pitch.

“He has enjoyed a wonderful career, both in club football and for England, and he still has so much to give as well.”

News of Derby’s interest in Rooney emerged shortly before they opened their Championship campaign with a 2-1 victory away at Huddersfield on Monday night.

After the game, Rams boss Cocu was asked about the reports but was coy in his replies.

Derby owner Mel Morris confirmed Cocu has spoken with Rooney about the possibility of his joining the club, saying: “The key thing for me is the conversation he had with Phillip Cocu.

“From my side of it, why wouldn’t you want a player with his career and background? His achievements are absolutely phenomenal.”

Bringing in a player of Rooney’s stature has raised questions about the cost of the deal and the wages he might be paid, but Morris allayed any Financial Fair Play fears.

He said: “We’ve maintained all along that we want to be compliant with FFP and I don’t see anything in this deal that would change that.”

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