Manchester United icon Wayne Rooney could reportedly be headed back to English football as he is likely to succeed John Eustace as Birmingham City manager.
According to The Mirror, Rooney has emerged as a top candidate to replace Eustace should Birmingham part with the English coach. The Blues sit fourth and unbeaten in the EFL Championship and their manager is being linked with Scottish giants Rangers.
Rooney left English football last year after failing to keep Derby County in the Championship. He was handed difficult circumstances to try and preserve the Rams’ place in the English second tier as their financial issues led to a 21-point deduction.
The England and Manchester United icon headed to the MLS with DC United as he continues his growth in management. He holds a record of 13 wins, nine draws, and 24 defeats in 46 games since taking charge at Audi Field.
Birmingham City have new owners in the form of American investment service Knighthead Capital. NFL legend Tom Brady was recently unveiled as an investor and placing Rooney in the St Andrews hot seat may be an attractive proposition.
The Red Devils icon has gone down as one of the greatest players in English football history. He won 13 major trophies during his playing career at Old Trafford and could commercially be an astute appointment for the Blues.
Birmingham made 13 signings in the summer, which indicates how their new owners intend to put their backing into the club. They last played in the Premier League in 2011.
Rooney claims that he went into management to eventually become Manchester United manager
Rooney spent 13 glorious seasons playing for Manchester United, clinching five Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League, the Europa League, the FA Cup, and four League Cups.
He is the club’s all-time record goalscorer, bagging 253 goals and 145 assists in 559 games across competitions. Many argue that Rooney is the greatest player in the Red Devils’ history.
The former England captain’s admiration for United still stands following his departure to boyhood club Everton in 2017. He claimed last year that the reason he entered management was to eventually take up the Old Trafford job (via ESPN):
“The whole reason in me going into management is Manchester United. I got offered the job interview for the Everton job. I want to be United manager. I know I am not ready now but I have to plan everything I do to make sure one day it will happen.”
It’s unlikely that Rooney will be in the running for the Red Devils’ managerial job in the near future. Their current coach Erik ten Hag is in the second year of the three-year contract he signed last year.
One would expect Manchester United to target a more experienced coach whenever they do depart with Ten Hag. Rooney could look to impress by heading back to English football with Birmingham.