Wayne Rooney plots new job in bid to rebuild management career

Wayne Rooney, Manager of Birmingham City, arrives at the stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Birmingham City at Elland Road
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wayne Rooney is planning to follow former England teammate Steven Gerrard into the Saudi Pro League in a bid to rebuild his managerial career, reports suggest. 

Rooney has been without a club since being sacked by Birmingham City at the start of January, having won just twice in 15 matches and led the Blues down to 20th. It marked the third unsuccessful shot at management for the England icon, who took over at Derby County at the immediate end of his playing career before joining MLS side DC United.

He was relegated with the Rams and failed to secure play-off qualification in the United States, but hopes a move to the Middle East could resurrect his reputation in the dugout.

After the 38-year-old took a holiday to Dubai in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates, The Sun reported he has expressed an interest in moving to the Pro League.

Steven Gerrard, manager of Al-Ettifaq looks on during the Saudi Pro League match between Al-Ettifaq and Al Nassr at Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium on August 14, 2023 in Ad Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Their source said: "Wayne's time in charge at Birmingham hasn’t put him off the idea of management.

"In fact, he believes he learned a lot of skills which he thinks will hold him in good stead in the future. Wayne realises he still has a lot to prove, but he believes he has what it takes to be a manager and would love the chance to manage a team in Saudi Arabia.

“He loved his time managing in America and thinks he could transfer a lot of those skills to the Arabian league.”

Gerrard’s start to life in the Gulf state has been slow, winning just seven of his first 21 games at Al-Ettifaq. He signed a two-year contract extension in October for a reported £15m-a-year salary.

Players have also begun to express their dissatisfaction with moves to the Pro League, with Jordan Henderson most notably choosing to leave for Ajax just months after moving.

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