As a Nottingham Forest fan I may seem biased but it looks like the old enemy down the A52 has sneakily taken advantage of a football league loophole that allows the former England captain to sign for the Rams on an estimated wage between a reported £80,000 and £100,000 a week.
Even I would consider Derby for that.
How Mel Morris and co have pulled this major coup off without FFP knocking down the Derby door is most likely due to the fact that 50% of Rooney’s wages will be paid in a Coaching Capacity as the 33 year old currently going through his UEFA badges will also be involved with new Boss Phillip Cocu’s technical staff and not just as a player for the Rams from January next year.
First, Rooney will complete his current campaign in the MLS as DC United captain before returning to England and the Championship in a remarkable deal that should see him available just in time for the 3rd round of the FA Cup.
For Rooney coming back to England comes at a great time for him personally after shining consistently in the MLS and with a couple of years left in his locker yet he could play a huge part in Derby’s promotion push whilst learning the ropes from a three time Eredivisie winning Manager in Cocu before undeniably taking up his own role in charge somewhere later down the line.
For Derby County this is a signing of magnitude, bringing back the record England goalscorer to play in the Championship is a masterstroke that will not only help them on the pitch, but off it too with the commercial aspect even more important to Candy Crush billionaire Owner Morris.
Rooney returning is not just a good thing for the player, his family and his new team either but is also a good thing for the football league itself and will attract more interest on a wider scale.
It will be a challenge for Rooney who’s now in his twilight years in playing in what is widely considered as one of the toughest, most competitive and demanding leagues in the world but his love for football and the fact that he’s a winner will no doubt go a long way to helping him pull the move off, fitness permitting.
As an avid England fan who was proud to see Rooney pull on the three lions and one who stood up and applauded him off his last ever international match at Wembley it will be very hard indeed to start hating him when Derby do play Forest, but animosity and rivalry aside I can’t wait to see him back in England and hats off to Derby for getting their man, even if they did so in a slightly exploitive way.