Wayne Rooney has been dealt a huge blow to his hopes of bringing Teden Mengi back to Derby County this summer.
That’s according to a report by the Manchester Evening News, who claimed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is planning on including the 19-year-old centre-back in his first team squad at Manchester United ahead of next season.
It is believed that Rooney is keen to keep the £1.35m-rated England under-19 international at Pride Park this summer following his loan spell at the Championship side in the second half of the 2020/21 season.
While Mengi did not feature all that much for the Rams after joining in the January transfer window, with the defender featuring nine times for the club – something which was primarily down to the 19-year-old’s loan deal being cut short after picking up a season-ending injury – the youngster nevertheless impressed from the heart of the Derby defence.
Over these nine Championship appearances, Mengi helped Rooney’s side to keep one clean sheet, as well as making an average of 1.1 interceptions, one tackle and 2.4 clearances per game, in addition to winning 3.8 duels and completing 86% of his attempted passes per fixture – culminating in an average SofaScore match rating of 6.67.
Indeed, upon his return to Manchester United, Derby’s 35-year-old manager stated his belief that Mengi had been “fantastic” for his team, adding that he had witnessed the defender “grow with each game” that he played for the club.
In the same interview, Rooney went on to reveal that he would “keep in contact with United” regarding the possibility of bringing the 19-year-old back to Pride Park ahead of next season, something which would appear to indicate the manager’s desire of securing a deal for Mengi this summer.
As such, the news that Solskjaer could kibosh Rooney’s plans by including the defender in his United first team squad next season will likely come as a blow for the Derby gaffer, as missing out on a player of Mengi’s talent will not make Rooney’s task of leading the Rams on a charge up the Championship table any easier come next season.