Rooney to help after Cocu leaves Derby

·2-min read

Wayne Rooney has announced that he will help Derby County prepare for their next Championship fixture after the international break following the departure of manager Phillip Cocu.

Dutchman Cocu took over as Rams boss during the summer of 2019, when Frank Lampard left for Chelsea but he has paid the price with Derby having managed just six points this season at the bottom of the table.

Following confirmation of Cocu's departure by mutual consent, former England captain Rooney revealed he had been asked to help the squad prepare for the trip to Bristol City on November 21.

The former Everton and Manchester United forward Rooney joined the Rams during the January transfer window as the 35-year-old looked to take his first steps into coaching while also continuing his playing career.

Now, speculation is bound to build that he could end up taking up the vacancy in a player-manager capacity.

"I am sorry that Phillip and his staff have left the club and want to thank him personally for all his help and encouragement as part of his coaching staff," Rooney said in a statement.

"The most important thing now is to stabilise the club and start moving up the table.

"I have been asked to be part of the coaching staff to help the team's preparations for next Saturday's vital match against Bristol City.

"The coaches and I will speak with the players on Monday."

Derby thanked Cocu for his contribution to the club, on and off the pitch.

Earlier in November, the club confirmed a deal had been agreed "in principle" for the sale of the club to Derventio Holdings, which is owned by Sheikh Khaled Zayed Bin Saquer Zayed Al Nayhan, a member of the Abu Dhabi Royal Family.

Sheikh Khaled is the cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the deal to buy Derby is reported to be in the region of PS60million ($A109 million).

Former PSV boss Cocu, meanwhile, said it had been agreed it was "in the best interests of all parties" for him to leave the club.

In a statement on Instagram, the former Barcelona midfielder said: "Although this season has not gone as we all would have liked so far on the pitch, I believe passionately in the project that we started to build and I have no doubt that the future is bright for the club."