Wayne Rooney insists he will not stand down as Derby manager even if the protracted takeover of the club collapses.
The Rams agreed a deal to sell the club to Abu Dhabi billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan’s Derventio Holdings in November.
Sky Sports News has been told there is a legally binding agreement between the two parties but two months on, the takeover is yet to materialise.
Derby are under a transfer embargo as players were not paid their full wages in December, meaning Rooney is unable to strengthen his squad during this month’s transfer window.
Asked if he would quit Pride Park should the takeover fall through, Rooney said: “No, not at all.
“Ideally, I want players in. We need that. But if we can’t I believe in the quality of the players we’ve got here.
“With the takeover and the salary situation, it’s difficult for players, and it’s difficult for me in that I can’t go into the transfer market at the moment.
“Ideally, the quicker the players get paid, the quicker we can move on. Then we can look at players we want to bring in.”
Rooney ended his playing career and signed a two-and-half-year contract to become Derby manager on a permanent basis last week.
He had been working as player-manager on an interim basis since Phillip Cocu was sacked in November.
Rooney says he believes the takeover is still set to happen, saying: “As far as I’m aware, it’s still trying to be done.
“My understanding is that all the paperwork was signed and we were waiting for it to happen.”
Neville tells Rooney: Manage like Simeone
Gary Neville has called on Wayne Rooney to emulate Diego Simeone in his managerial style, reflecting the streetfighter footballer of his youth…
I would tell Wayne a number of things.
I would say treat it like your last job, and not your first. I’d say don’t be naive, which is difficult when it is your first job. When I went into my first job with Valencia, I went in thinking ‘everything is beautiful and perfect’.
You can get into thinking, ‘we’re going to play beautiful football and we’ll do this and that’, but he should treat if like you’re fighting for your life from the very beginning.
I’d say make sure you get the right people around you, who’ve got experience, who can make sure that the pitfalls and obstacles that you hit know they’re going to be there.
It’s important he takes the right job, and I feel Derby have got the right pedigree in making sure they give managers a chance. It feels like the right club where he can learn, where there is pressure but not the kind of pressure he’d be immediately under at a Premier League job. Obviously, he’ll need that little bit of luck as well.
He was always going to be a coach as he always wanted to be a coach. I thought it was one of the best Monday Night Football shows when he came on. You could see he was a student of the game.
I just hope his teams have the personality of Wayne Rooney the kid, not the Wayne Rooney who got older and smoothed over with age. I know you’ve got to be articulate nowadays, but I hope he’s like a Diego Simeone. That’s what he was like as a player and as a kid. A team that is aggressive and ferocious.
That’s one of my biggest regrets when I think about what I was trying to do. You try to be something that you’re not. My team should have been narky, horrible and nasty. Built around the things I felt a football team should be, but I was busy thinking about splitting the centre-backs.
I’d say be what you are. He’s a streetfighter, so he should be like that. He had that in his game, and he should have that in his team. Hopefully, his teams are a mirror of how he was as a player at his absolute best.