Wayne Rooney: Derby captain not leading player wage deferral rebellion, says spokesperson

Wayne Rooney has scored four goals in 15 appearances since joining Derby as player-coach in January

Former England captain Wayne Rooney is not leading a player rebellion at Derby County over wage deferral talks, his spokesman has told BBC Sport.

Rooney, 34, has been heading talks with Rams executives, although so far there has been no deal and the Championship club have confirmed talks are ongoing.

Derby’s first request was rejected by players following advice from the Professional Footballers’ Association.

There have been reports Rooney is leading a battle against the proposals.

“Claims that Wayne is in a ‘wage war’ with his club are both misleading and unhelpful,” a spokesperson for the ex-Manchester United forward, who joined Derby from Major League Soccer side DC United in January, told BBC Sport.

“As is the case with most football clubs, and in particular the Championship, discussions are taking place at Derby County Football Club on a variety of proposals. These are being considered internally and discussed constructively.

“As part of these discussions it is entirely right and proper that Wayne – as club captain and a senior player in the English game – is at the forefront.

“Alongside other Derby players, Wayne’s role has been to act as a conduit between board and dressing room to hopefully help find a mutually acceptable position for both parties.

“Should he be approached by his club to help, then he would have no hesitation in doing whatever he can. That is exactly what he is doing now.”

Several Premier League clubs have agreed wage deferrals with players, including West Ham United, Southampton and Watford. Arsenal players will take a 12.5% wage cut.

Derby declined to comment on Rooney’s spokesperson’s remarks.

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