Derby County boss Wayne Rooney has revealed he has rejected an approach from former club Everton to hold talks over the vacant managerial position at Goodison Park.
Everton (4/1 to be relegated) are on the hunt for a new manager after parting ways with Rafael Benitez earlier this month, with the club having slipped to within four points of the Premier League relegation zone following a dismal run that has seen them win just once in the top flight since September.
Caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson, former Chelsea player and manager Frank Lampard and ex-Porto head coach Vitor Pereira are believed to be the final three candidates in the running to succeed Benitez, with the trio set to be interviewed over the coming days.
However, Rooney has now revealed that he was also approached to hold talks with the club, who he represented over 100 times across two spells as a player, but he turned down that proposal in order to remain with Championship strugglers Derby.
“Everton approached my agent and asked me to interview for the job, but I turned them down,” Rooney told reporters. “It was a difficult decision.”
Premier League Betting Odds
Rooney has been impressing in his first managerial role with Derby despite the ongoing financial issues surrounding the Championship club.
The Rams have been deducted a total of 21 points this season due to financial issues, but despite that huge setback, Rooney has been able to guide the club off the bottom of the table and to within eight points of safety.
Those heroics have not gone unnoticed, but Rooney is keen to stay and finish what he has started at Pride Park, although he remains confident that sooner or later he will be managing in the Premier League.
“I believe I will be a Premier League manager and that I am ready for that 100%,” the former England captain added. “If that comes with Everton, great. But I have a job at Derby, which is important to me.”
Rooney’s Derby will be back in Championship action on Sunday when they welcome Birmingham City to Pride Park (Derby 11/8, Draw 11/5, Birmingham 23/10 – Match Result).
Football Betting Odds