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Wayne Rooney ‘poised to become new Derby manager’ with Phillip Cocu’s exit close

Wayne Rooney is reportedly in line to replace Phillip Cocu as Derby manager with the Dutchman believed to be on the brink of being sacked.

Manchester United legend Rooney joined Derby in January as a player-coach, and has also taken the captain’s armband for the Rams.

But his leadership skills could be taken to a new level at Pride Park, with the former England international now being lined up with the top job at Derby.

According to the Sun, Friday’s clash against Watford could be current boss Cocu’s last game in charge if it ends in another defeat for the East Midlands outfit.

Pressure has been mounting on the Barcelona legend for several weeks now, and it is thought that the last gasp win over Norwich earlier this month, the goal coming courtesy of Rooney himself, saved Cocu from the sack.

But with Derby lying down in 20th place with just three points so far, owner Mel Morris is understood to be ready to give Rooney his first job in management.

The 34-year-old does not have any of all of his FA coaching badges just yet, but has admitted that he is keen to move into the hot seat at some stage, having taken an interest during his time at United.

“I’ve always been interested in it,” said Rooney back when he joined Derby.

“When Louis van Gaal was manager at United, Ryan Giggs was analysing the opponents and I used to go in there for a few hours after training.”

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Former Rams manager John Gregory is thought to be the club’s preferred choice to become Rooney’s number two, having left Indian Super League side Chennaiyin FC last year.

While Mike Phelan, who is currently on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s backroom team, has also been mentioned with the role.

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