Breaking: Derby city council 'ABANDON plans to hand Wayne Rooney the freedom of the city'

Breaking: Derby city council 'ABANDON plans to hand Wayne Rooney the freedom of the city'

Derby city council have 'resinded their offer to give Wayne Rooney the freedom of the city' after he left the Rams to manager DC United.

 The former Manchester United man kept Derby in the Championship in 2021, but left the club the following summer after they were relegated following a 21-point penalty for breaching financial rules.

 At the time, Councillor Jonathan Smale suggested offering Rooney the prestigious award as a show of appreciation for his 'loyalty' and for 'lifting the hearts and minds of fans'.

 The offer now appears to be off the table, though, with the Athletic reporting that the council have 'moved on' after losing 'contact' with Rooney following his move to manage DC United.

 Rooney took over the MLS side just weeks after resigning as Rams boss, and initially struggled in America as United finished bottom of the Eastern Conference after winning just two of 14 games under the 37-year-old.

 He recently gave his players a rousing speech vowing to do better in the 2023 season, which starts in February.

 In a statement made to the Athletic regarding Rooney, councillor Mick Barker said: 'Time has now passed.'

 'The current progress made by the team and manager [Paul Warne] following settlement of the administrative order makes it difficult to rekindle the process if Mr Rooney returns to the UK.  The club, the city and Mr Rooney have moved on.'

 After initially joining Derby as a player coach, Rooney became interim time manager while still playing in November 2020, before hanging up his boots in January 2021 to become permanent boss.  He scored seven goals in 35 games during his time at the club.

 The club has enjoyed something of a resurgence this season and are vying for promotion back to the championship after rising to fourth in League One.

 They will have a chance to make it to the fifth round of the FA Cup on Monday night as they face West Ham at Pride Park.

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