Manchester United icon Wayne Rooney wants a sensational return to the Premier League and is interested in becoming the new Southampton manager, according to reports.
The Saints parted ways with Nathan Jones last week after losing seven of his eight league games at the helm, sacking him after just three months.
It is believed that former Leeds boss Jesse Marsch has held positive talks with the club over the role, while Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Ivan Juric have also been linked.
Rooney left Derby Country to take charge at MLS side DC United last summer, with the 2023 season set to kick off later this month.
Southampton are currently in a dire league position, sitting at the bottom of the Premier League table after picking up just 15 points from 22 games.
With that in mind, whoever takes over at St. Mary’s Park will have a massive challenge on their hands to avoid survival.
As mentioned, Rooney’s first managerial job was at Derby, where in difficult circumstances he earned himself plenty of plaudits.
The Rams were stung with a 21-point deduction at the beginning of the 2021/22 season for entering administration and breaching profit and sustainability rules, so the Englishman’s task was to somehow try and avoid relegation.
In the end, they finished on a relatively impressive 34 points, seven points away from safety, in what is regarded as a valiant attempt at an incredible escape.
So far, at DC United, where Rooney also featured as a player, he has won just two of his games in charge, drawing three and losing nine, which isn’t really a great return.
According to talkSPORT, the former Manchester United and Everton star is eager to manage in the Premier League. Still, it remains to be seen if he will be considered for the Southampton job.
The current big favourite to land the role is the recently sacked Leeds manager Marsch, who the Southampton owners are said to be big admirers of.
As reported by Football365 on Monday, the Saints ‘sounded out’ the American last week and are understood to admire his high-pressing style.
Marsch has worked across the Red Bull group at New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig, where former Southampton boss Ralph Hassenhuttl spent two years in charge.
However, talks are still ongoing with various candidates and another shock name in the mix is Lampard, who was relieved of his duties at Everton in January.
Along with him, another former England international is also interested in taking the role – Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard – so there’s a decent chance we could see the return of one of three Premier League legends.
Torino manager Juric is also being considered by the Southampton board, so they are by no means settled on a candidate yet.
But, they need to make the right choice. Otherwise, they look destined to be playing Championship football next season.