Wayne Rooney wants Manchester United job: Rio Ferdinand
Ex-England striker will take fledgling steps towards coaching career at Derby
As Wayne Rooney takes his fledgling steps towards a career on his touchline, Rio Ferdinand is adamant that his former teammate has his eye set on the Old Trafford hot seat.
Rooney signed a deal yesterday to become a player-coach at second-tier Derby County from next January.
While the 33-year-old DC United attacker says his focus is very much trained on what he can contribute on the field, rather than off it, ex-England and United teammate Ferdinand says the Three Lions' all-time top scorer's "end game is managing" the Red Devils.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004 and left the club in 2017 as the their all-time top scorer with 253 goals in 559 appearances.
He won everything possible with United, including five English Premier League titles, the Champions League, Europa League and Club World Cup.
Ferdinand told BT Sport: "His end game is managing Manchester United, 100 per cent.
"It's a fact. If he tells you any different, he's lying! He will want to do that.
"Only time will tell if he's going to be the man to be able to do that. There's obviously a lot of work to be done before that.
"But Frank (Lampard has) gone to the place he will have desired more than anywhere else at Chelsea .
"Can that happen for Wayne? We'll see."
Rooney admitted that he had been excited to see former England teammates Lampard and Steven Gerrard make their way in a world usually dominated at the top level by foreign coaches.
The striker will be following most closely in the footsteps of Lampard, who last season took Derby all the way to the Championship play-off final.
Lampard has now taken over at Chelsea, while Gerrard is in charge of Scottish side Rangers.
Ex-United teammate Phil Neville has also impressed as England's women's team boss, having recently guided them to the World Cup semi-finals.
Said Rooney: "It's great to see them going into management.
"But it's not just because of that, I've always had an ambition to go into management.
"It's great these young English managers are getting the opportunity.
"Over the past 20 years, we haven't seen it so much.
"When the time is right, hopefully that's what I can move into. But... my first aim is to play."
Meanwhile, United goalkeeping legend Peter Schmeichel believes striker Romelu Lukaku should leave Old Trafford, for the sake of all parties.
He told Sky Sports: "When you play Romelu, you have to play in a particular way, if he doesn't want to play at the club, then it leaves you free to play another way.
"So it is an opportunity for the club, as well as being very sad.
"Once he said, 'I don't want to be here', I don't think it is beneficial for anyone that you force him to stay. I'm sure it is going to be resolved."
However, with the EPL transfer window set to shut tomorrow morning (Singapore time), the 55-year-old believes United should not scramble for deadline-day deals.
He said: "I think, anything that happens on the last day - unless it has been ongoing - smells of panic.
"And I don't think Manchester United should be that kind of club."