Wayne Rooney frustrated as Derby's EFL embargo hinders possible signing of former Sheffield United defenders

Wayne Rooney, the Derby County manager, has warned that he risks starting the season without a senior centre-back as a transfer embargo continues to thwart any chance of signing two former Sheffield United defenders currently on trial at Pride Park.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 11:33 am

Derby were hit by the embargo by the EFL amid ongoing financial issues at the Blades’ Championship rivals, with the league requiring fresh accounts be submitted next month.

Rooney has nine senior contracted professionals in his squad, and three former Blades were involved on trial at the weekend as Derby lost 2-1 to Rooney’s old club Manchester United.

Phil Jagielka, who left United this summer, started the game and played 60 minutes, while fellow ex-Blade Richard Stearman came on at half-time. Ravel Morrison also started before being taken off on the hour.

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"I just want a team to put out on the first day of the season," Rooney said.

"Something has to happen. If you look at my squad, if nothing changes I have not got one centre-back. In order for us to compete in this league, something has to change.

It's a challenge and it is not ideal. I am constantly trying to get answers but I am still not getting what I want and what the club wants. I am truthfully not 100 per cent sure of the ins and outs.

"I will do my best for this football club but I need help and support. I believe that support will come. I could do with it now."

Phil Jagielka played for Derby County against Manchester United at the weekend (Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Phil Jagielka played for Derby County against Manchester United at the weekend (Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

United host Derby at Bramall Lane on September 25, travelling to Pride Park on January 15.

Wayne Rooney talks to former Blades Ravel Morrison and Richard Stearman (Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)