Derby County player-coach Wayne Rooney wants to play for the Rams in the Premier League.
After taking a dig at former Everton boss Sam Allardyce, who sidelined him at Goodison Park, Rooney said that while automatic promotion looks a long shot, a play-off spot should not be beyond the Rams.
The striker said: “I still felt I could do it at Everton – but other people made the decisions on that. But it’s important to understand that football’s not about running around, it’s about using your brain. It’s about using your head to play the game, and I feel I can still do that.
“They way you create time and space… knowing the game by putting yourself in the right positions.
“Look at the number of times we’ve seen young players with real speed, but they don’t know how to use it properly.
“I feel those facts get lost with me – perhaps unfairly – because I don’t score as many goals.
“It’s a shame. With respect to my legs, I’m not the quickest player – but in my head I am.
“So, in answer to the question, given the right team around me, I probably could.
“Obviously, the two clubs I’ve played for in the Premier League have been Everton and Manchester United. I’m a Derby player now and hopefully, I can get there with them and they can become the third club if I do.”
Eric Roy has returned to English football at Watford.
Watford have named Roy as their new sporting director.
The Frenchman worked for Nice in the same role as the one he is undertaking at Vicarage Road and also managed the club.
He played in England with Sunderland, making 27 appearances between 1999 and 2000.
The appointment was made quickly, with Roy only meeting with Watford officials about the job on Tuesday.
Sacked Arsenal boss Unai Emery is keen on continuing working in England.
Emery is eager on a return to the Premier League – but is not expected to take the Everton job.
Emery is out of work following his sacking by Arsenal, who axed the Spaniard last month after a dreadful run of seven games without a victory.
It is understood the former Gunners boss held talks with Everton over the managerial vacancy.
However, ESPN claims that there was no formal offer from the Goodison Park club and they will instead turn their attention elsewhere.
Emery is intent on returning to management soon rather than enjoy a break and has reportedly already had several job offers.
Manchester City assistant boss Mikel Arteta is “desperate” to become the new Arsenal manager, per The Sun.
Arteta is among those who are being linked with the position after the sacking of Unai Emery.
Freddie Ljungberg is currently in temporary charge at the club. But Arteta is said to want guarantees from the club’s board.
He would love to come back to the club where he was a player, but he is hoping to get a clearer picture of the board’s long-term vision before committing.
A Man City source reportedly told The Sun: “Mikel wants the job but wants to know what is on offer and guarantees from them.
“He will then speak to the club. Nothing is going to happen before the end of this week from what we can tell.
“Mikel is conflicted because of his relationship with Pep and feeling for City after the years there.
“He has been excellent since he got here and there is a feeling he is going to be a top manager one day.”
Rafa Benitez has laid out Liverpool’s greatest strengths and backed his former club to win the Premier League title this season.
The Reds are eight points ahead of second-placed Leicester City at the top of the table, having gone undefeated after 16 games.
Quizzed on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football whether he thought it was Liverpool’s year, the Spaniard said: “I think so. I think that they are doing so well.
“They are very consistent. It is very difficult for them to lose games, especially to lose games in a row for sure.
“They have been signing the right players over the past year, spending money obviously, but (on) very good players in the right positions and the ones the manager was looking for.”
Asked what was the secret to their success Benitez, who managed the Reds between 2004 and 2010, added: “They have a very good balance. So it’s not just that they have good defenders or people are just talking about the goalkeeper. The full-backs go forward, the strikers have pace and ability, and the midfielders press all the time.
“As soon as they attack you, if they give the ball away they are pressing you so it is very difficult to counter-attack and create something.
“If you are a team that has plenty of possession they are so aggressive, it is not easy. If you are a team that wants to play counter-attack they are so quick. We tried that with Newcastle but we couldn’t go in behind them because they were faster than our players.”
Manchester United are ready to hand Scott McTominay an improved deal.
The Sun says United are planning to hand McTominay a double-your-money new £60,000-a-week contract.
The Scotland midfielder has had an impressive start to the season, including a stunning display in the win over rivals City on Saturday.
United want to reward the academy youngster by giving him fresh terms on his current £30,000-a-week deal.
He only signed a new contract back in January until 2023, with the promise of further bonuses if he continued to perform.
A United insider said: “It’s fair to say we are delighted with how Scott has responded to signing his first big contract.
“Some players tail off but he has got his head down and justified the faith the club have shown in him.
“We have always made it clear the big money will come if the younger players perform, they don’t need to be looking enviously elsewhere for it.”
Niko Kovac is eyeing the vacant Arsenal job as the club continues with their search to replace Unai Emery.
48-year-old Kovac has been unemployed since Bayern Munich sacked him in November.
The Croatian was seen in Chelsea’s director’s box against Everton on Saturday, leading to speculation he could want to replace Marco Silva at the Toffees.
However, Goal says Kovac is interested in the vacant post in North London.
He will attend Arsenal’s clash with West Ham at the London Stadium on Monday.