Rooney expects Derby takeover to go ahead despite delay

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Championship - Derby County v Rotherham United - Pride Park, Derby, Britain - January 16, 2021 Derby County manager Wayne Rooney Action Images/Molly Darlington

(Reuters) - Derby County manager Wayne Rooney said he expects the proposed takeover of the Championship club to go ahead but would remain in his role even if the deal falls through.

Derby said in November they had agreed a deal in principle to sell the second-tier club to Abu Dhabi billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan, with the English Football League giving both parties the all-clear to proceed.

Local media on Wednesday quoted Rooney as saying he would speak to the club's owner and CEO to see what the situation is.

"As far as I'm aware, it's still trying to be done. My understanding is that all the paperwork was signed and we were waiting for it to happen," he said.

The former England and Manchester United striker called time on his playing career after being named Derby boss last Friday.

Derby, who beat Bournemouth 1-0 on Tuesday, are under a transfer embargo after players did not receive their wages for December and Rooney was asked if a failed takeover bid would make him reconsider his decision to become manager.

"No, not at all," he said. "Ideally, I want players in. We need that. But if we can't I believe in the quality of the players we've got here.

"With the takeover and the salary situation, it's difficult for players, and it's difficult for me in that I can't go into the transfer market at the moment.

"Ideally, the quicker the players get paid, the quicker we can move on. Then we can look at players we want to bring in."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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