Derby County’s prospective new owner Chris Kirchner has indicated manager Wayne Rooney will remain in charge of the club next season.
Rooney previously stated he would stay with the troubled side until the end of the campaign, but recently said protracted efforts by administrators to sell the club could see him leave.
His work at the Rams saw him approached for the Everton job in January.
Kirchner said on Twitter that Rooney “told me he’s staying”.
In a question and answer on social media, the American businessman added: “We’re going to do this together. Excited to rebuild this with him.”
Following Kirchner’s confirmation as the preferred bidder to buy the relegation-threatened Championship side, Rooney said he “can work on my plans now and see where Chris wants to go”.
“We can work on that together,” Rooney said last week.
“I love this place and the staff here. The players and fans have been brilliant to me as well.”
The former England, Manchester United and Everton striker has a year remaining on his contract as Rams boss, having retired from his illustrious playing career to take on the job on a permanent basis in January 2021.
The 36-year-old guided Derby to Championship safety on the final day last season, but with five games remaining of a fraught campaign – in which the club was docked 21 points – they are on the cusp of being relegated to the third tier of English football for the first time since 1986.
They are nine points adrift of safety and could be relegated to League One on Monday if results go against them.
Rooney previously backed Kirchner’s bid to buy the club last year when the American initially showed interest before he withdrew his interest.
While Kirchner is now dealing with joint administrators Quantuma as the exclusive bidder to purchase Derby County, the sale of the club remains ongoing.