Four clubs Wayne Rooney could manage next with future in doubt after Derby relegation

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Wayne Rooney suffered heartbreak on Easter Monday after witnessing his Derby County side fall from the Championship to League One for the first time since 1986. Starting the season with a 21-point deduction, the Rams would be 17th if they hadn’t broken FFP rules. And having achieved 52 points without being able to make as much as a single signing, Rooney is a hot commodity for his excellent work at Pride Park despite relegation. Express Sport takes a look at four clubs he could join amid Derby’s drop to the third tier.

Everton

A second romantic return to Everton could be on the cards for Rooney next season if Frank Lampard fails to impress.

If the Toffees are relegated, Lampard could see his contract terminated just four months after being appointed.

With Rooney likely requiring little to no compensation to prise him from Derby, a return to Goodison Park could offer him the chance to test himself in the second tier once again with a stronger squad.

A lot of permutations must happen for that to become a reality, but having already sought to interview Rooney before Lampard’s appointment, it helps that the Everton board are already keen on their club legend.

Burnley

Burnley’s sacking of Sean Dyche on Good Friday stunned the footballing world, with the gravel-voiced, ginger-haired boss leaving his post in east Lancashire after nine-and-a-half years.

Chris Wilder, Sam Allardyce and Rooney were installed as the early favourites for the job, with the ex-Manchester United hero being touted to test his Premier League credentials after his exploits with the Rams.

Burnley would only be able to offer him seven games at the helm in their Premier League campaign, but may see his Championship results as a positive if they were to go down.

Alongside a bigger budget, a pre-season to prepare for the new campaign and a higher-quality playing squad, Rooney could well be tempted by a move to Turf Moor.

Middlesbrough

The clear favourite for the Burnley job is Wilder, with the former Sheffield United boss odds-on with some bookmakers to take over from the axed Dyche.

If he was to join up with the Clarets, it would leave a hole in need of filling at the Riverside Stadium.

Rooney’s ability to get results out of youth players could mean he is a favourable point of call given that Dael Fry, Isaiah Jones, Nathan Wood and Josh Coburn all ply their trade in the north east.

And with Djed Spence likely to depart the club for around £20million, Rooney would possibly have a large transfer budget to play with to shape his own side.

Nottingham Forest

Forest are another side who are excelling under an up-and-coming British manager in Steve Cooper.

If they go up, it would almost undoubtedly see Cooper test himself in the top-flight.

However, if Forest fail to earn promotion, Cooper is arguably the most sought-after boss in the second tier.

He could depart if any of the current top-flight sides come calling, leaving a vacancy in the East Midlands.

Rooney would be hated if he left the Rams for their neighbours – although stranger things have occurred in football before.



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