Wayne Rooney has made his opening pitch for the Derby job as he prepares to take charge of his first game as a manager.
The former England captain is part of a four-man group who will lead the Rams, who are bottom of the Championship, at Bristol City.
Rooney revealed he and fellow coaches Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker had held talks with an associate of Sheik Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan – who is a cousin of Manchester City owner Sheik Mansour – ahead of the proposed £60million takeover.
Rooney said: ‘I wouldn’t be an ambitious person if I sat here and said I didn’t want the job.
‘We all come into this game to play football and then you have a decision to make: do you want to go into coaching or management?
‘I’ve made it quite clear over the last few years that my ambition is to go into management, especially when you see the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Scott Parker all getting good jobs and doing really well at it.
‘We have to get the next two or three games out the way first, but if they go well it puts me in a better position to put our names forward for that role. We’re working together and if it works [as a group] it could be a way forward also.
‘It’s working really well for the four of us, there are disagreements but that’s healthy for us and the players.’
Sportsmail understands Rooney would want assurances there would be money to spend in the January transfer window before taking the job – though he is far from the only candidate, with John Terry, another former England skipper, also in the reckoning.
Terry is currently part of the coaching team at Aston Villa but boss Dean Smith would not stand in his way if he were offered a No1 role.