Wayne Rooney reveals why he wants to bring former Sheffield United man Phil Jagielka to Derby County; Drops hint over other ex-Blades
Wayne Rooney has outlined exactly why he is so keen to bring former Sheffield United defender Phil Jagielka to Bramall Lane, after he was released by the Blades this summer.
Jagielka, who made over 300 appearances for the Blades across two spells, is training with United’s Championship rivals in a bid to earn a new deal as he approaches his 39th birthday.
Rooney knows Jagielka from their time together with both Everton and England, but his hopes of bringing the former Goodison Park skipper to Pride Park have so far been hampered by an EFL embargo.
After Rooney warned he risks starting the season without a centre-half, the EFL allowed Derby to add four more players to their squad this summer – albeit with strict limitations about how much they can be paid.
Ravel Morrison, another former Blade, was expected to be amongst the first to be offered a deal after training with Rooney’s side, while Richard Stearman is also hoping to earn a contract after appearing against Manchester United in pre-season.
Asked what Jagielka would bring to Derby if he signed, Rooney said: “Obviously experience. I know Jags and played with him for both club and country. I know what he brings and I am sure you saw against Salford, I don't think he lost a header.
"He is a fantastic player and he's still got a little life in him yet."
Rooney also appeared to confirm he wants to sign Stearman and Morrison, too. Stearman played 90 minutes of Derby’s 2-1 defeat to Salford, while Jagielka was taken off at half-time.
Sam Baldock, the brother of United full-back George, also replaced former Blade Colin Kazim-Richards at the break.
"I know exactly the players I want to bring in, the players know that and if I am being honest I want to bring all of the players in who are here," Rooney added.
United host Derby at Bramall Lane on September 25, travelling to Pride Park on January 15 – which means Jagielka may have a quick return to his old stomping ground, after recently admitting he would have loved to have stayed for another season and help the Blades get back into the Premier League after their relegation last season.