Rooney will join Derby as coach-player in January 2020

Wayne Rooney They will join Derby County in January on the MLS side DC United , with the former England captain ready to continue his career as a player while working towards his goal of becoming a manager, the Championship club said on Tuesday.

In a major blow to the second level club, Derby said Rooney, 33, had signed an initial 18-month contract with the option of another year and would also work as a coach with the first team and the academy.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity that Derby County have provided me with," former Manchester United and Everton striker Rooney said in a statement.

I am eager to join (manager) Phillip Cocu, his coaching staff and the first team since the beginning of January. I am sure I can make a great contribution ... I am equally excited to start my career training.

Rooney becomes the last member of the so-called Golden Generation of England players to take his first steps towards management following players like the former Derby boss Frank Lampard and Rangers manager Steven Gerrard.

Since then, Lampard took over his former club. Chelsea , having led Derby to the playoff final last season.

First, Wayne joins us as a player, but he will also have training responsibilities, Derby owner Mel Morris added.

The business opportunities that this creates are widespread and significant. Behind Wayne joining the club, we were offered an unprecedented sponsorship agreement with our main shirt sponsor, 32Red.