Wayne Rooney says he’s already feeling ‘really settled’ at Derby County – and he’s desperate to get his career with the Rams underway.
Rooney, who is England and Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer and one of the biggest names in world football, will officially join Derby as a player from January 2020.
As well as penning a playing contract with Derby, Rooney is joining as a coach and continue to develop his coaching credentials in preparation for a potential managerial career.
The 34-year-old has been training with the Rams’ squad on a full-time basis since the end of November and he has also been sat in the dugout for Derby’s last three matches alongside manager Phillip Cocu and his coaching staff.
Rooney says he’s been made to feel extremely welcome at the club and is also enjoying life with Derby under the guidance of Cocu.
Speaking to the media at Pride Park Stadium on Friday afternoon, Rooney said: “The last few weeks have been good to get to know the players and the staff.
“Everyone has been fantastic with me since I arrived, right across the training ground. I feel really settled in here and I’m ready to go now.
“The manager has been great with me. I’ve been training with the players and then having a bit of input with the manager and the coaching staff off the training pitches.
“I’ve been in meetings and given my opinion on different things and it’s great to work with and learn from someone like Phillip Cocu.”
He added: “It’s a great opportunity for me to continue to play and also have one foot in the other side of it. I am sure it will only benefit me.”
From a fitness aspect, Rooney is feeling good.
His time at DC United ended with a play-off defeat to Toronto FC at the end of October, but he’s kept himself in good shape since then.
He could, potentially, made his Derby debut in the home fixture against Barnsley on 2nd January and he has admitted he’s desperate to get back to playing competitive games.
“I feel good physically although it is frustrating doing all the training over the week but not being able to play on a Saturday,” he said.
“My season at DC United didn’t end that long ago so I’ve kept myself ticking over and if I was able to play tomorrow, I’d be able to.
“Today is the worst day almost, as it’s the day before a game and you’re training with the players and they don’t do too much.
“As a result you end up training one-on-one with the fitness coach, which isn’t nice!”