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Wayne Rooney to report for Derby County in December after spell with DC United comes to a premature end

John Percy
Wayne Rooney is powerless to prevent DC United from crashing out of the MLS play-offs - USA TODAY Sports

Wayne Rooney is set to join up with Derby in early December as he prepares for his surprise return to English football.

Rooney will report for a mini pre-season with Phillip Cocu’s Championship squad after his spell with DC United came to a premature end last weekend.

The former England captain is not eligible to play for Derby until January, after signing an 18-month deal as player-coach, but it is understood Sky Sports are already considering the prospect of televising his debut.

Sky could move the date of Derby’s home game against Barnsley from New Year’s Day to January 2, so Rooney is registered in time to make his first appearance for the club.  

The 33 year-old is said to be “very excited” about starting his new career at Derby, and has been in regular contact with Cocu, the manager, since he signed in August.

Rooney has watched every Derby game at his home in Washington, while he has even spoken to disgraced pair Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett to offer his advice after they were charged with drink-driving.

DC United’s season ended on Saturday night after they were thrashed 5-1 by Toronto FC in the play-offs, and Rooney will now take a family holiday in Barbados.

Derby expect him to report in December, where he will undergo a month of training before he is available to play. 

DC United's season ended on Saturday night after they were thrashed 5-1 by Toronto FC in the play-offs Credit: AP

His last appearance in English football was for Everton in their 2-0 win over Huddersfield on April 28th 2018.

Meanwhile, Derby owner Mel Morris is in talks with a mystery consortium over an investment deal which could be finalised in the next few weeks.

Morris has been exploring a number of investment options for the past three years, but it is understood a deal is now edging closer. 

Derby return to league action on Wednesday with the visit of Wigan to Pride Park.