Wayne Rooney retires to become permanent Derby boss

Wayne Rooney has retired from playing after being appointed Derby County manager on a permanent basis.

The 35-year-old retires as the all-time leading goalscorer for both Manchester United and England.

Rooney has been acting as interim manager at Derby since the end of November, but has now taken the job permanently on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

Rooney said: “When I first arrived back in the United Kingdom I was completely blown away by the potential of Derby County Football Club. The stadium, training ground, the quality of the playing staff and the young players coming through and of course the fan base that has remained loyal and supportive.

“Despite other offers, I knew instinctively Derby County was the place for me

To be given the opportunity to follow the likes of Brian Clough, Jim Smith, Frank Lampard and Phillip Cocu is such an honour and I can promise everyone involved in the club and all our fans, my staff and I will leave no stone unturned in achieving the potential I have witnessed over the last 12 months of this historic football club.”

Rooney scored 253 goals in 559 appearances for Manchester United and won five Premier League titles, along with one Champions League and one Europa League crown during his time at Old Trafford.

The decision to appoint Rooney has been made jointly by Derby’s current owner, Mel Morris, and the prospective owner Sheikh Khaled.

Liam Rosenior, Shay Given, and Justin Walker will retain their positions on Rooney’s coaching staff. while Steve McClaren will continue the duties of technical director and advisor to the board of directors.

Derby CEO Stephen Pearce added: “We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Wayne Rooney as our new manager.

“Our recent upturn in results under Wayne was married together with some positive performances, notably the 2-0 home win over Swansea City and the 4-0 victory at Birmingham City.

“During that nine-game run we also dramatically improved their defensive record and registered five clean sheets in the process, while in the attacking third we became more effective and ruthless too.

“Those foundations have provided a platform for the club to build on in the second half of the season under Wayne’s guidance.”

Rooney’s first game as permanent manager will be on Saturday at home to Rotherham at Pride Park.

It has been a time of turmoil for Derby, with the senior first-team players still waiting for their December wages to be paid.

Regarding his retirement, Rooney said: “Normally this happens at the end of a season and normally as a player you’d have time to reflect on it, but for me it has obviously happened during the season.

“I think the last couple of months have helped break that in and, for me, it has given me time to sit down and think about that.

“As I said a few weeks ago, my future I feel is in management. I’ve had a great career, I’ve enjoyed every minute.

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