Former England captain Wayne Rooney will join Championship club Derby County as a player-coach in January from MLS side DC United.
The 33-year-old forward, who is Manchester United and England’s all-time record goalscorer, will join the Rams on an initial 18-month contract.
He signed for Washington-based DC from Everton in July 2018 and has scored 23 goals in 41 league games.
“I’m sure I can make a big contribution,” said Rooney.
Rooney has agreed to join Derby despite having more than two seasons left on his deal with DC United.
“While the decision to move home was a tough one, family is everything to us and we make this change to be closer to the ones we love back in England,” he added.
“I am very excited about the opportunity Derby County have provided me with. I am looking forward to joining [Derby manager] Phillip Cocu, his coaching staff and the first-team squad from the start of January.
“I am equally excited to begin my coaching career at Derby County, working with both the first team and academy.”
Derby, who started their season with a 2-1 win at Huddersfield on Monday, are under the management of former Netherlands midfielder Cocu after Rooney’s former England team-mate Frank Lampard left for Chelsea last month.
Cocu described Rooney’s arrival as an “exciting prospect” and has “no doubt he will have a positive impact right across the club”.
“The inspiration and motivation this can generate is massive for all of our players from the first team right through to the youngsters in the academy,” said Cocu.
“To have a player with his leadership, skill, experience, character and work ethic will be huge for us.” (BBC)