Wayne Rooney has not had a particularly easy start to life in management, taking over Derby County on a permanent basis in November of last year, the Rams are yet to sign a single player this season.
This is due to the fact the club being hit with a transfer embargo, restricting them from adding to their squad, currently down to the bare bones in terms of contracted players.
Rooney has ben forced to try and work with a squad of just 13 players at times, though last weekend’s pre-season friendly against Man Utd saw a number of trialists play for the club, including high-profile names such as Ravel Morrison and Phil Jagielka.
However to be eligible to feature in Derby’s side for next season, anyone who makes up the squad, with a limit of 23 players, has to be tied down on a fixed professional contract.
To obtain such a contract, the player would have had to have made a single first-team appearance in a competitive game outside the EFL Trophy.
Following the clash against United, Rooney conceded how difficult it has been to operate with such limited resources.
“It’s a challenge,” Rooney said.
“It’s not ideal and is something which I’m constantly aware of and am constantly trying to get answers.
“At the minute I’m still not getting what I want so I have to just focus on the players. I’m not 100 per cent sure of the ins and outs of it (takeover), so I just have to focus on the football. Something has to happen. It has to.”
Rooney recently admitted he would like to re-sign Man Utd defender Teden Mengi, who spent last season on loan at Pride Park.
“Teden did excellent for us last season,” the Derby boss claimed. “I think he was getting better but unfortunately he got injured towards the end.
“At the minute from Teden’s point of view there is nothing I can do, I still can’t bring loan players in.
“I think he knows, and Manchester United know, he is a player I like. My hands are tied behind my back at the minute.”
A recent update from the EFL means that as per the terms of the embargo, free agents can only be handed a 12-month deal whilst loan signings are restricted to six months, ensuring Mengi could still be recruited yet should Utd permit his departure.
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