Rooney says he turned down approach from former club Everton
DERBY, England (AP) — Wayne Rooney turned down the chance to interview for the manager’s position at former club Everton, saying Friday he wasn’t ready to leave his current job at second-tier Derby.
Rooney, who started his playing career at Everton and had a second spell at Goodison Park before retiring, said he was approached via his agent and thought long and hard before declining the opportunity at the Premier League club.
“I believe I will be a Premier League manager,” the former England and Manchester United striker said. “I believe I’m ready for that, 100%. And if that is with Everton one day in the future, that would be absolutely great.
“But I’ve got a job here that I’m doing at Derby County which is an important job to me.”
Everton is looking for a replacement for Rafa Benitez, who was fired this month as the team slides toward the relegation zone. Everton is in 16th place and just four points above the bottom three.
Rooney has been Derby’s manager since November 2020 — previously he’d been the team’s player-coach — and has received plaudits for the job he has done at the club amid its financial crisis.
Derby entered administration — a form of bankruptcy protection — in September and has been docked a total of 21 points this season because of its financial problems. The team is in next-to-last place in the Championship, eight points from safety.
Rooney said last week he was “flattered” by the speculation linking him with the Everton job.
Frank Lampard, Rooney’s former England teammate, is among the favorites to fill the vacancy.
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