Three former Sheffield United players get chance to earn contract as Derby County take on Man Utd

It’s well documented the restrictions that Derby County are under as manager Wayne Rooney prepares for the upcoming Championship campaign.

And as the England legend attempts to build a squad for the new season, a host of experienced players are being given the opportunity to secure a contract with the Rams.

Derby take on Rooney’s former club Manchester United this afternoon in a friendly and in amongst the squad to face the Red Devils are three former Sheffield United players.

Phil Jagielka started the match against United, having spent the summer training with Rooney’s side following his release from the Blades at the end of last season.

Wayne Rooney manager of Derby County and players look on before the pre-season friendly match between Derby County and Manchester United at Pride Park. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Jagielka had also been training with Oldham but that was a favour from Latics boss Ian Evatt to help the player keep up his fitness.

Also starting the match is Ravel Morrison who had an ill-fated spell at Bramall Lane where opportunities were limited. Morrison had also been on trial with Sheffield Wednesday last season but the Owls opted against making any more of that arrangement.

And on the bench is the third of the ex-Blades with Richard Stearmen – released by Huddersfield at the end of the last campaign – being given the chance to stake his claim for a contract at Pride Park.

Derby, who have suffered a succession of failed takeovers, are limited in the players that they can sign under the terms of an embargo handed out mostly due to the failure to hand in accounts and defaulted payments.

Rooney is only able to sign free agents on one-year deals or bring in players on loan for up to half a season.