Wayne Rooney has revealed why he chose to remain with Derby County despite interest in his services, but admits he would love to manage Everton or Manchester United in the future.
Rooney turned down an approach from Everton to discuss becoming the club’s new manager, with the Toffees having expressed an interest in their former forward following the dismissal of Rafael Benitez.
The 36-year-old has impressed with his handling of a difficult situation at Derby, having guided the Rams within four points of safety despite a 21-point deduction for entering administration and historical financial breaches, the club starting the season with a threadbare squad.
Rooney has revealed his desire to see through the task at hand with the Championship side, but admitted he holds ambitions of one day managing one of his former sides in the Premier League.
“I didn’t go to the interview [for the Everton job], which I was asked to go to,” he told the media ahead of the new Amazon Prime documentary, Rooney.
“I’ve always been one who likes a challenge and is willing to put the work in and fight.
“I’ve stood in front of my players and told them, ‘I’m with you, trust me, I’m fighting with you’… what type of person would I be if – at the first opportunity – I left them?
“I think it’s important because it is part of what’s happened with my life…”@WayneRooney addresses his off-field misdemeanours in 𝐑𝐨𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐲, available worldwide on Prime Video from Friday 📺 pic.twitter.com/fEqBGDVmw7
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) February 9, 2022
“True to my word, I am fighting for the club. I am trying to get us out.
“And then Everton, Manchester United – two clubs close to my heart. Of course, one day I’d love to manage either of them clubs.”
Rooney also discussed the current problems at Manchester United, who are searching for a permanent manager following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Red Devils have struggled since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013 and are approaching five seasons without silverware.
Rooney admits the club’s problems date back more than a decade, referencing his transfer request in 2010 due to concerns over the club’s ambition.
“They’ve (United) tried everything. They’ve tried very experienced managers in Louis van Gaal. They’ve tried Jose Mourinho, David Moyes, Ole – one of their own – and now they’ve tried more of the ‘professor’ type in the new manager.
“I’ve seen the result and I think they’re going through a tough period. You can see a few things off the pitch. It’s a tough one. I think it’s been going on for a while, if I’m being honest. These are things I brought up in 2010.”