By Adefunmiloye Alani

4th Dec, 2021 | 2:10pm

Dimitar Berbatov: Rooney could become Everton boss after leaving Derby

Dimitar Berbatov has tipped Wayne Rooney to take over as Everton manager one day amid growing pressure on Rafa Benitez.

The Spaniard has seen the Toffees go eight games without a win, with six of those ending in defeats, and the former Premier League hitman wrote in his BetFair column that the Derby County boss could soon return to Goodison Park as boss.

Rooney has been in charge of the Rams since last year, and while they narrowly escaped relegation at the end of the 2020-21 Championship season, they are currently favourites to relegate after going into administration.

Berbatov said: “With Rafa Benitez in trouble, I’ve read that Wayne Rooney has been linked with a move to Everton.

“There can be no doubt that one day, Rooney will be a manager in the Premier League. Every ex-player wants the chance to manage on this stage, like Michael Carrick, John Terry and Steven Gerrard now at Villa. It’s great to see players go into coaching and do well.

“And Rooney is doing very well at Derby despite all the issues off the field. He’s had the taste of management, he knows what it involves and I’m sure he will be thinking about a future in the Premier League.

“He’s building his way up and I’m certain he will be a Premier League manager soon and Everton could be the next step for him.”

Too soon?

The Toffees have appointed five managers since Farhad Moshiri became owner in 2016, and if things continue this way, a sixth appointment is surely on the cards very soon.

The Merseysiders will be keen to get it right when that time comes, and while academy graduate Rooney would be a popular appointment with the fan, whether the club will consider him ready for such a huge job remains to be seen.

He has not proven what he can do at Derby despite last season’s survival story, and managing Everton is a different ball game entirely.

Should Rafa end up leaving before the end of the campaign, it is highly unlikely to see Rooney replacing him.

The former striker would love to be in the Goodison Park someday, but that may have to wait for a while.

At the moment, director of football Marcel Brands is definitely drawing up a list of Benitez’s potential replacement, and it will be a huge surprise if the Derby boss features in it.

In other Everton news, the Toffees are plotting January loan-to-buy bid for centre-mid hailed by Jack Grealish last month.

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