Soccer-Derby boss Rooney rejects Everton approach

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Championship - Nottingham Forest v Derby County - The City Ground, Nottingham, Britain - January 22, 2022 Derby County manager Wayne Rooney applauds the fans after the match Action Images/Ed Sykes

(Reuters) - Derby County manager Wayne Rooney said he rejected an approach from former club Everton to discuss the vacant managerial position.

Everton are searching for a manager after they sacked Rafa Benitez this month following a run of disappointing results and named Duncan Ferguson as caretaker boss.

Rooney, who spent two spells at Everton as a player, is currently in charge of second-tier Derby who are under administration amid a financial crisis and sit second-bottom in the league.

"Everton approached my agent and asked me to interview for the vacant job, which I turned down," Rooney told a news conference on Friday.

"I believe that I will be a Premier League manager and I believe I'm ready for that 100%, and if that is with Everton one day in the future that'd be absolutely great.

"But I've got a job here to do at Derby County which is an important job to me."

British media reported that former Porto manager Vitor Pereira and former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard are in contention for the Everton job.

Everton are 16th in the Premier League on 19 points after 20 matches, four points above the relegation zone. They host Brentford in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Feb. 5 after the international break.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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