Wayne Rooney set for management return four months after Birmingham sack

  • Rooney set to take over at Championship outfit Plymouth Argyle
  • Legendary England forward previously in charge of Derby County, DC United and Birmingham City
  • Spell at St Andrew's came to an end after nine defeats in 15 matches
Rooney has been out of work since January
Rooney has been out of work since January / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Legendary Manchester United and England forward Wayne Rooney is line for a return to management at Championship side Plymouth Argyle.

Rooney has been out of work since January after being sacked by Birmingham City, who went on to be relegated on the final day of the 2023/24 season. Birmingham lost nine games out of 15 under Rooney's management and his scheduled three-and-a-half year tenure ended after just three months.

The Telegraph reported on Thursday that Rooney is keen to return to management and had been approached for an interview by Plymouth, whose director of football Neil Dewnship coached him when he was coming through the ranks in Everton's youth team.

Former Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom is also understood to have interviewed for the role, but BBC Sport have subsequently revealed that Rooney is expected to be appointed by Plymouth over the weekend.

38-year-old Rooney, who is Man Utd's all-time record goalscorer, cut his teeth in management at Derby County, when he was appointed as part of a four-strong interim coaching team involving Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker.

He impressed enough to earn the job on a full-time basis, eventually saving the club from relegation despite a dreadful run of form towards the end of the 2020/21 season.

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Derby were handed multiple points deductions totalling 21 points the following season, leading to their eventual relegation to League One and Rooney's resignation. He then headed to MLS, taking charge of D.C. United for a year before returning home after failing to make the end of season play-offs.

Birmingham offered Rooney a route back into English club management, only for his spell to go badly wrong, but he said in February that he was keen to put the setback behind him and get back in the dugout.

" I definitely want to get back into management. It was a setback what happened at Birmingham but I’m a fighter and I want to get back into it," he said. "You know as a manager [being sacked] is part of the job and you will have setbacks. It’s about how you bounce back. I’ve had some good time to reflect and will make sure I get it right next time."

Rooney has been working as a television pundit recently, earning praise from some sections of social media for his insight and honesty. He will form part of the BBC's punditry panel for the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament to be held in Germany.