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Report: American billionaire in talks with Derby County

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American billionaire Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Technologies, is in advanced talks with Derby County.

Dell, 55, is said to have a net worth of $31.2 billion and is discussing investment in the English Championship club with owner Mel Morris. Derby were previously owned by a combination of Morris and an American investment group

Per the report from The Telegraph the Texas businessman is keen to invest and Derby’s current owner Morris has been ‘seeking additional funding for over two years and was previously in talks with Henry Gabay, a London-based businessman, but a deal has stalled due to a number of factors including the sacking of former club captain Richard Keogh and the English Football League charge.’

An English Football League investigation is currently looking into the deal which allowed  Derby’s current owner Morris to buy their Pride Park stadium as the EFL state Derby “recorded losses in excess of the permitted amounts provided for in EFL regulations for the three-year period ending 30 June 2018.”

The Rams have come close to promotion back to the Premier League on many occasions over the last decade but have come up short in the playoffs time and time again as they lost in the final to Aston Villa last season under Frank Lampard‘s tutelage.

With legendary Dutch midfield Phillip Cocu currently their manager they sit six points off the playoffs with nine games of the season to go and since Wayne Rooney‘s arrival in January they’ve surged up the table.

Dell will obviously invest in Derby with possible Premier League promotion in mind as his investment would be a lot lower initially and if Derby were able to sneak into the playoffs this season and seal promotion, a cash windfall of over $190 million would arrive.

Rooney proposes wintry change to help seasons delayed by coronavirus

Wayne Rooney
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Derby County captain Wayne Rooney says players will be happy to play it extra safe when it comes to the coronavirus’ effect on their seasons.

Rooney says there’s a solution for everything, and that the Premier League season could find resolution in the calendar thanks to the winter World Cup scheduled for 2022.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

While of course theoretical and requiring developments in the treatment and control of the virus, Rooney says European seasons could finish by September

“The next World Cup is in November and December 2022, so you could actually use this situation as an opportunity and say we’re going to finish the 2019-20 season later this year, then prepare for 2022 by having the next two seasons starting in winter.”

There’s a lot of common sense to Rooney’s proposal on the surface level, though obviously there are myriad contractual and legal avenues that may make it improbable.

The big question would be what to do after that 2022 World Cup, as waiting from January to August to start a new season would be a bit wild. Maybe each successive season would change by one month until it reached the traditional start date?

And, honestly, it’s intriguing to wonder if European football adopting a “warmer weather” schedule and international football hosting its events in the Fall would improve an already terrific thing.

Rooney was also critical of the delays in putting Football League matches on hold, saying players were watching other sports close down and unable to focus on their personal coronavirus concerns.

He claimed it “almost” felt like footballers were being treated “like guinea pigs.”

More coronavirus connections to soccer:

Solskjaer on Ighalo, Rooney, Man Utd win: ‘Everyone loves Wayne’

Manchester United
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Manchester United will look to stretch its unbeaten run to 10 matches when it hosts Manchester City in what should be a scintillating derby on Sunday.

The Red Devils hit nine matches on Thursday when they eliminated old pal Wayne Rooney and Derby County from the FA Cup with a 3-0 win at Pride Park.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was thrilled with the performances of striker Odion Ighalo and rare goal scorer  Luke Shaw in the win.

For Ighalo, it’s three goals in two starts for United after a trio of goal-free substitute appearances. Here’s Solskjaer, via the BBC:

“When you get strikers in you want them to be happy and confident. He has come in here and of course we still have a few injuries and it is great for us to have Odion to call upon. He is a different striker for us and scores some good goals, there is not many who could dig that one out for his first. We have a team of good players.”

The striker says he’s feeling good around Old Trafford, and isn’t bothered by any odd thoughts regarding his return to the Premier League from the Chinese Super League.

“As long as my team-mates believe in me, the boss believes in me and the fans believe in me, just have to keep going. I don’t care what anyone says.”

Rooney nearly got on the score sheet with a technical marvel of a free kick in stoppage time, but Sergio Romero made an even better play to slap the ball over the bar.

Solskjaer and Rooney were teammates at Old Trafford for a few seasons, and there’s mutual appreciation.

“Everyone loves Wayne, all the supporters at Manchester United appreciate what he did,” Solskjaer said. “He played well. He shows class and sometimes he has too much time on the ball for my liking.”

Rooney was quite good on the day. The Derby County captain completed 11 of 15 long balls while connecting on 88 percent of his passes. He had five key passes, an interception, a blocked shot, two tackles, and a clearance (via Sofascore).

Ighalo leads Man Utd past Derby County

Manchester United
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Manchester United dealt with old pal Wayne Rooney and Derby County to reach the FA Cup quarterfinals.

Odion Ighalo scored in each half after Luke Shaw opened the scoring to lead the Red Devils past the Rams 3-0 at Pride Park on Thursday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Rooney put on a decent display in a losing effort. The Derby County captain completed 11 of 15 long balls while connecting on 88 percent of his passes. He had five key passes, an interception, a blocked shot, two tackles, and a clearance (via Sofascore).

Sergio Romero denied Rooney a wonderful stoppage-time free kick goal when he flew right to slap a ball over the bar.

Shaw’s goal was a bounding effort from the left side of the box in the 33rd minute.

It’s his first since opening day of the 2018/19 Premier League season, and just his second in 151 senior appearances between Southampton and Manchester United.

Ighalo has scored in both of his starts for United this season since arriving from the Chinese Super League, and his first goal was especially deft (see below). The 30-year-old maneuvered between two defenders and finished well. He deposited his own rebound after a Juan Mata pass in the 70 minute to make it 3-0.

United will visit Norwich City in the quarterfinals, which is comprised entirely of Premier League combatants.

[ MORE: FA Cup Draw ]

FOLLOW LIVE, FA Cup: Man United v. Rooney, Derby County

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One final place in the FA Cup quarterfinals is up for grabs on Thursday, but that will be almost a secondary storyline to the fact that Wayne Rooney and Derby County are set to face Manchester United.

[ LIVE: Follow Derby v. Man United here ]

Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made six changes to the team that drew 1-1 at Goodison Park last weekend, with star midfielder Bruno Fernandes highlights the starting lineup alongside Jesse Lingard and Odion Ighalo.

Rooney starts for the Rams, who have deployed Man United’s all-time leading scorer in a number of different positions and roles during his first two months at the club. Expect him to play both midfield and center forward at some point.