Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Mel Morris confirms Derby are in talks with Wayne Rooney

Rooney is England's all time leading goalscorer Credit: PA

Derby owner Mel Morris has confirmed the club are attempting to finalise a move for former England captain Wayne Rooney.

The 33-year-old, who is under contract at MLS side DC United until the end of their 2021 season, has been linked with a player-coach role at Pride Park - where his former England team-mate Frank Lampard was given his first opportunity in management last year.

"It's literally only been a couple of days in the offing," Morris told Talksport. "The starting point was that we understood he was keen to return to the UK and we decided to see if we could do something off the back of that.

"It's never done until it's done and obviously we are very focused and keen to get this over the line."

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 Phillip Cocu was asked about the reports but was coy in his replies.

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."

Derby are hopeful a deal could be confirmed as early as Tuesday, with the Championship transfer window set to close on Thursday at 5pm.