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Report: Wayne Rooney holding talks to join Derby County as player-coach

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According to a report by James Ducker of The Telegraph, D.C. United striker Wayne Rooney is in talks with Derby County about a return to English football as a player-coach for the Championship club.

Derby County signed former Barcelona player Phillip Cocu as manager on a four-year contract in the wake of Frank Lampard‘s departure, and the club may look to capitalize on Rooney’s solid Major League Soccer form by bringing him on as a player while also getting his feet wet in the coaching ranks.

According to the report, Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford has already met with the club and plans to continue talks in the coming days. Yesterday the Sun had reported that Rooney was thinking about a possible return to Manchester United in a coaching role alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but this would see him able to continue his playing while also learning the coaching ropes. He has two years remaining on his D.C. United contract that runs through December of 2021.

Rooney looked behind the pace during his final Premier League season with Everton in 2017/18, but he joined D.C. United that summer and has seen somewhat of a revival. During his time in MLS, Rooney has scored 23 goals in 44 matches while dotting the highlight reel with spectacular strikes including one from the midway line.

It’s possible that Derby believes Rooney has something to offer on the pitch while also beginning his coaching career, serving as an asset on the field while also potentially learning to follow-up Cocu should he not impress or be lured away after a period of success. For time on the field, Rooney would compete with 29-year-old opening day starter Martyn Waghorn, 30-year-old Championship veteran Chris Martin, and 24-year-old Jack Marriott for time at the striker position.

Derby signed Lampard to his first managerial job back in May of last year, and it was a smashing success, with Derby reaching the Championship playoff final before losing to Aston Villa to agonizingly miss out on Premier League promotion. Lampard left after just the one year to serve as manager of Chelsea, and now Derby owner Mel Morris could be looking to add yet another high profile former England star.

Fan arrested after American player Holmes racially-abused in England

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A man has been arrested for racially abusing American midfielder Duane Holmes during a Football League Championship match on Sunday.

The incident occurs as a high-profile time for racism in soccer, which has seen Moise Kean and Raheem Sterling racially abused during matches in recent weeks.

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Holmes, 24, is having a terrific year for Frank Lampard at Derby County following his arrival from Scunthorpe United. The diminutive right midfielder, who also plays centrally, is starting regularly and had a goal and an assist last week against Rotherham United.

Saturday at Brentford was a different story, as Holmes was targeted by a Bees season ticket holder after subbing off the pitch.

Here’s Derby manager Frank Lampard, from the BBC:

“Duane Holmes complained that he was racially abused – I didn’t see it, I was facing play and a fan came up to him at the side of the dugout and abused him,” he told Sky Sports.

“Because it’s such an important issue I don’t want to go beyond what I know, but it was very clearly reported by the players and the people around.”

The arrest shows that Lampard’s comments were backed by authorities.

Holmes, for his part, retweeted a supporter’s message backing “Kick It Out,” which aims to eradicate racism from the game.