Derby County have confirmed that former Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney will join the club from MLS franchise D.C. United as a player-coach in January 2020.
Rooney has spent the past 14 months in the United States, driving D.C. United towards the 2018 MLS Cup playoffs against all odds last season, but has been given the opportunity by the Rams to realise his known ambitions of moving into coaching.
Rooney has agreed an initial 18-month contract with Derby that promises to keep him at the club until June 2021, but will first complete the ongoing 2019 MLS season with D.C. United.
"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," Rooney told DCFC.co.uk.
"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 D.C. 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 [MLS Cup] playoffs."
The five-time Premier League winner and 2008 Champions League winner is both Manchester United's and England's all-time leading goalscorer and will bring a wealth of experience, quality and leadership to Cocu's Derby dressing room.
Derby kicked off the 2019/20 Championship season with a 2-1 win over Huddersfield on Monday night. Rooney's former Manchester United teammate Tom Lawrence scored both goals, while ex-Everton colleague Kieran Dowell is also currently with Derby on loan.