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Wayne Rooney unsure who is behind Derby takeover amid Mike Ashley links

Coventry City v Derby County – Emirates FA Cup – Third Round – Coventry Building Society Arena
(Image credit: Barrington Coombs)

Wayne Rooney insists a deal is close for the takeover of Derby but is unsure who the buyer is amid rumours of Mike Ashley purchasing the Championship club.

The former Newcastle owner has been linked with a £50million bid for the cash-strapped club, who were knocked out of the FA Cup following a 1-0 defeat at Coventry on Saturday.

Rooney said: “I know nothing about it. Honestly I don’t.

“I know it’s very close to something being announced due to my conversations with the administrators.

“In terms of personnel and who that is, I can honestly stand here and say I don’t know.”

Dominic Hyam scored his first goal since the final day of last season as the 1987 winners claimed a spot in round four.

The loss left bottom-placed Derby to focus on their great escape in the league, with the Rams 11 points from safety after their 21-point deduction for going into administration earlier in the season.

Rooney, who won the FA Cup in 2016 as a player with Manchester United, said: “This was a game I really wanted to win. It’s a competition which means a great deal to me.

“I’m not happy with the result. It hurts when you go out of a cup competition. We have to move on from that. Our sole focus now is the league.

“I believe we can stay up. I put myself out there last season and said that.

“Our focus is on the league and I believe in this group of players, myself and the coaches. I believe we will stay up.

“I think there was a big difference between the two teams. The opportunities they had came from us dribbling in our own half.

“We weren’t clinical enough and that’s something we really need to improve on.”

Coventry boss Mark Robins was delighted just to have a game after playing their first fixture since December 29.

“We’re delighted to be in the hat,” said Robins. “The most important thing was to get a game. We feel we needed a game.

“It’s been a really tough couple of weeks for us. We’ve had illness, injury, all sorts the game throws at you, we’ve had it.

“We played a game against Millwall and then don’t play for 10 days or so.

“With circumstances the way they are at the moment it’s difficult to get enough training into them.

“We’re doing everything we can do at the minute because we’re a small group really. We used the [larger] Wasps’ dressing room for (social) distancing.

“We’ve had some purifying systems put in and we’re trying to mitigate Covid as much as we can do.

“There’s some real positives to take. We’ve won and got a clean sheet with some really good performances.

“It’s exciting to be in the next round, because we’ve got the unknown now of who we’re going to be drawn against.

“Hopefully we can be rewarded with a home tie against one of the big guns.

“Financially it’s a really important competition, we get some more (money in the) coffers and hopefully we get a sexy tie in the next round.”

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