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Man Utd legend Rooney agrees 18-month deal with Derby as he prepares to return to England from MLS

14:13 BST 06/08/2019
Wayne Rooney England National Team Derby
The Rams have a player-coach agreement in place with the 33-year-old, who will link up with the Championship promotion hopefuls in January

Wayne Rooney will be returning to English football from MLS side D.C. United in January, with the Manchester United legend agreeing an 18-month deal with Derby County.

A man who has more goals to his name for the Red Devils and Three Lions than any other player will be linking up with the Rams in a player-coach capacity, as Goal revealed on Monday was to be the case.

The contract he has in place at Pride Park, which is due to run until the summer of 2021, includes the option for a further 12-month extension.

Rooney, who will see out the 2019 season in America before joining Derby’s Championship promotion push, told the club’s official website: "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."

Rams boss Cocu added on acquiring the services of an iconic figure: "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.

"His credentials speak for themselves. But to have a player with his leadership, skill, experience, character and work ethic will be huge for us. He knows what it takes to succeed as a player and I have no doubt he will have a positive impact right across the club.

"The inspiration and motivation this can generate is massive for all of our players from the first team right through to the youngsters in the Academy. It is entirely in keeping with, and in support of, the club’s philosophy and approach.

"I am looking forward to working with Wayne from the start of next year and welcoming him to the club."

Executive chairman Mel Morris said: "We are absolutely delighted to announce that Wayne Rooney will be joining Derby County.

"This is clearly an exciting signing for us, and Wayne’s presence will further enhance the club’s standing and its ability to perform both on and off the pitch.

"To have Wayne Rooney as a player, and equally as an aspiring coach, is incredible and I can only imagine the buzz this will generate amongst our supporters at home and internationally.

"First and foremost, Wayne is joining us as a player but he will also have coaching responsibilities too, particularly around the development of our younger players progressing towards the first-team from our Academy, as he looks to gain his relevant qualifications for a future coaching and management career.

"I would like to express a sincere thanks to DC United for their professionalism throughout this process. We wish them every success for the remainder of their season."