Wayne Rooney’s comments on becoming Man Utd manager as he turns down Everton interview

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has confirmed he rejected the opportunity to interview the vacant managerial role at Everton as the Toffees search for Rafa Benitez’s successor

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Wayne Rooney has pumped the brakes on an emotional return to Everton as manager, revealing he rejected the chance to interview for the vacancy.

The Derby County boss has been touted as a potential replacement for Rafa Benitez, ever since the Spaniard was ousted earlier this month.

Having performed heroics in the East Midlands, many felt the Toffees academy graduate could be in the frame for the top job at Goodison Park.

However, despite the ongoing crisis at Pride Park – with the Rams fighting for their very survival – Rooney has admitted now is not the time for him to make the step up.

“Everton approached my agent and asked me to interview for the job,” he told reporters in Friday’s pre-match press conference.

“It was turned down. I believe I will be a PL manager and am ready for that 100%. But I have a job at Derby, which is important to me.”

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Wayne Rooney has Derby off the bottom of the table, despite a 21-point deduction from the EFL

Rooney has cut his managerial chops in the most dire of circumstances, after Derby’s administration saw them slapped with a 21-point deduction to all-but condemn them to relegation from the Championship.

But with a squad consisting mostly of free agents and youngsters, Rooney has Derby on 14 points and in with a sniff of the greatest of great escapes.

His exploits will of course lead to further speculation about top jobs in the Premier League, none more so than with the club he broke records with, Manchester United.

The Red Devils’ most prolific player in history was actually linked with a stint in the dugout, immediately following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal.

However, as he has done on this occasion, he moved quickly to assure the Pride Park faithful that his full focus remained on Derby’s perilous situation.

“As I’ve said before, I’m committed to this football club until someone above me tells me otherwise,” he explained. “I speak to people at Manchester United on a regular basis so I’m sure if they were to come calling it would have already happened.

“I’m committed to Derby County and until someone says ‘you’re not welcome to be the manager here’ I’m here.”

Despite ruling himself out of contention, Rooney has shown he is willing to dig out United’s under-performing stars, slamming many in the wake of Solskjaer’s sacking.

On the 4-1 defeat which ended the Norwegian’s reign, he said: “I was so disappointed watching that game yesterday because, as a manager, you can set a team up and work on shape and how you want the team to play, but there’s no excuse for some of those performances from some players.

“To see players waving their arms around and giving the ball away but blaming other people was not acceptable. I would be very angry if I saw that from my players.

“Those players are at one of, if not the biggest, club in the world and should feel privileged to be there.”

And even once Ralf Rangnick was drafted in on an interim basis, he had some words of advice for the German upon his introduction to English football.

“I was at [Rangnick’s] first game against Crystal Palace and I thought they looked very good,” Rooney told The Athletic at the start of this month.

“My only concern, with that shape, was that when you come up against better teams — Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal — you could get punished.”

United look set to appoint a new manager in the summer and while that may come too early for Rooney, at just 36 years of age, he is perfectly poised to have a crack in the future.

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