Former Everton player Wayne Rooney has hinted that he could take up the vacant managerial role at Goodison Park, with the 36-year-old currently in charge at Championship strugglers Derby County
According to The Daily Express, the Toffees have a three-man shortlist to replace Rafael Benitez, who was sacked earlier this week, with Rooney joining former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard and Fabio Cannavaro on the reported wish list.
It has also been reported that Everton chairman Bill Kenwright would be keen to see the former Evertonian take the managerial vacancy, but it is also believed that owner Farhad Moshiri could block the move given the 36-year-old’s lack of dugout experience.
However, when quizzed on the possibility of taking the job, Rooney stated: “I think maybe down the line, maybe one day. I’ll always dream about becoming Everton manager, but of course, I’ve not quite got that experience.
“My job at the moment is to take the upcoming games, steady the ship, and the club will go through a process identifying the new manager. I’m sure they’ll do that, and they’ll bring the new manager in.”
The 36-year-old added: “You never know in football, do you? But at the moment, my job is to focus on the next game. That’s it.
“I focus on the next game, and what happens down the line will be up to the club. We’re always looking for the best managers in the world, and I’m sure we’ll find that.
“I’m the same as everyone else. I see the speculation on social media and in the newspapers and, of course, Everton is a club I grew up supporting.”
The Derby manager has been praised for his efforts amid an ongoing crisis for the Rams on numerous occasions this season, with Sky Sports pundit Glenn Murray saying that “Derby got their tactics perfect” after a 1-0 victory over promotion-hunting West Bromwich Albion during the festive period.
Everton Football Club finds itself in the middle of an identity crisis. The Toffees will appoint their sixth permanent manager in five-and-a-half years with their replacement for Benitez, who lasted just over six months in the job.
The Merseyside outfit find themselves in a position well below where they aspire to be, but they still have four months to turn their campaign around, so they have to get this appointment right.
With Duncan Ferguson as caretaker manager, the Toffees are in good hands, with someone who cares extensively about the club and has taken on a similar role in the past. However, the 50-year-old doesn’t appear to be in contention for the role permanently.
By hiring Rooney, the Goodison Park faithful will likely be buzzing given that they would find their team in a rare scenario where they’re managed by a boyhood fan of the club, rather than an overseas coach like Benitez, Carlo Ancelotti or Ronald Koeman whose ties might not be as strong.
The 36-year-old’s strong connection with the Toffees and demand for a turnaround could ultimately prove refreshing and exactly what the club needs.
Granted, experience is a limiting factor with the Derby job his only permanent role to date, and the Englishman may be keen to see the season through in the Midlands. However, should Everton come knocking, it could prove to be an offer that Rooney cannot refuse.