Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has revealed his desire to become the club’s manager in the future, admitting it was his main reason for going into management at all.
Rooney regularly spoke of his ambition to be a manager even before he had retired from playing. He set the ball rolling when he joined Derby as a player-coach in 2020 and was later appointed player-manager on an interim basis, before landing the job full-time and immediately hanging up his boots.
The 36-year-old has been widely praised for his impact at Pride Park in extremely difficult circumstances – financial trouble has resulted in 21 points deducted – making the team at least competitive at the bottom of the Championship despite an enormous mountain to climb.
“The whole reason in me going into management is Manchester United. I got offered the job interview for the Everton job,” Rooney told The Sun.
“I want to be Manchester United manager. I know I am not ready now but I have to plan everything I do to make sure one day it will happen.”
Rooney previously revealed he turned down an interview over the vacant manager’s job at boyhood club Everton in January, citing his loyalty to Derby as a reason for not talking to the Toffees.
“I believe I will be a Premier League manager – I believe I’m ready for that, 100%,” he said at the time. “And if that is with Everton one day in the future that would be absolutely great. But I’ve got a job that I’m doing at Derby County which is an important job to me.”
As recently as February, Rooney had already confirmed his ambition to manage both Everton and Manchester United, telling the Manchester Evening News he would 'love' the chance to do so.
United are currently in the process of appointing a new permanent manager, having interviewed Erik ten Hag already and with talks with Mauricio Pochettino, Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique expected. The club is hoping to make a decision sooner rather than later.
Rooney is the club’s all-time top goalscorer after netting 253 goals in 559 appearances to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s previous record that had stood for 43 years. He won 12 major trophies in 13 seasons and is also England’s all-time record goalscorer with 53 goals for his country.