Wayne Rooney admits he would love to manage Manchester United one day; ex-United striker is currently in charge of Championship side Derby County; United looking for a permanent manager this summer; Rooney turned down chance to speak to Everton last month about their managerial vacancy
Thursday 10 February 2022 12:43, UK
Wayne Rooney says he would “love” to one day manage Manchester United and believes his former club need to be patient with their next manager.
The 36-year-old is doing a fine job in trying circumstances in his first managerial role, with cash-strapped Derby pushing to stay in the Championship despite an uncertain backdrop and point deductions.
Rooney recently turned down the chance to speak to former club Everton about succeeding Rafael Benitez and United will assess their options after Ralf Rangnick’s interim stint ends in the summer.
Rooney told The Mirror: “I didn’t go to the [Everton] interview, which I was asked to go to. I’ve always been one who likes a challenge and is willing to put the work in and fight.
“I’ve stood in front of my players and told them, ‘I’m with you, trust me, I’m fighting with you’… what type of person would I be if – at the first opportunity – I left them?
“True to my word, I am fighting for the club. I am trying to get us out.
“And then Everton, Manchester United – two clubs close to my heart. Of course, one day I’d love to manage either of them clubs.”
The Red Devils stumbled to a 1-1 draw at rock-bottom Burnley on Tuesday and their all-time top scorer believes the road back to the summit will require patience with the club’s next permanent manager.
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“They’re obviously going through a difficult period,” Rooney told the PA news agency.
“In my opinion, what they need – whether it’s Rangnick or whether it’s a new manager at the end of the season – is someone to go in and have time. Have time to build a squad.
“I think the next three years certainly is going to be very difficult to win the Premier League.
“They need to give someone that time to build a squad and then really challenge for the big prizes, which a club like Manchester United needs to be doing.”
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The former England star was speaking at the premiere of ‘Rooney’ – the Amazon Prime Video film chronicling his life on and off the field, which is released on Friday.
Rooney does not hide from the mistakes he has made in a documentary that offers a fascinating glimpse into what makes him tick.
Former team-mates, current United squad members and members of the Derby team were in attendance to see the film in central Manchester, where he arrived on the blue carpet with wife Coleen.
“I think certainly over the last 20 years I feel like I’ve been judged, whether fairly, unfairly, for a lot of things I’ve done,” Rooney told PA.
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“On the pitch which is good. On the pitch which is bad. Off the pitch, good and bad.
“I think it gives everyone a real insight into me as a person. Sometimes the struggles you have, whether that’s mentally. I’ve been quite open in terms of alcohol as well.
“I think it will give everyone a real insight to see me as a person and hopefully people can really judge me then.”
Rooney laid bare the issues with anger and mental health that punctuated his career in a recent interview with PA, admitting he drunk himself into a stupor on days off to cope.
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“Before I did this (film), I had to really think carefully if I wanted to do it or not,” he added.
“I knew if I was doing it, there’s no point me doing it and not speaking about difficult situations because that’s part of life.
“That’s part of the last 20 years which I’ve been involved in and I think it’s a good time to do it because obviously I’ve gone into that next step with my life.
“We’ve got four children, I’ve gone into management, things are good. A time now to almost try and put that all that behind me and move on with my life as a family but also my life as a manager.”
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