Wayne Rooney is set to bolster his defensive options at Derby County with the signing of Phil Jagielka, per John Percy of The Telegraph.
The 38-year-old has been training with the Rams this summer but was not one of the players that secured a contract with the club last week, with Rooney only able to sign four men.
It seems as though some of Derby’s restrictions with the EFL are to be lifted though as according to Percy, the veteran centre-back will sign a short-term deal with County to provide competition to Curtis Davies and Richard Stearman.
Jagielka was a team-mate of Rooney’s at both Everton and for the England national team, where he won 40 caps between the years of 2008 and 2016, and club-wise the defender was most recently at Sheffield United, where he played in 16 Premier League matches over two years.
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He’s now set for perhaps a final stint as a player at Derby before hanging up his boots, but if he performs well given the chance his short-term deal could be extended to a season-long one.
Whilst he won’t be expected to start every single Derby match, Jagielka could provide a lot both on and off the pitch in the short-term for the Rams.
Because of his age he’s obviously not played much over the last two years for Sheffield United, but when called upon he never disgraced himself in the top flight.
He found it a struggle to be picked by Chris Wilder in 2019-20 due to the Blades’ good form, but he was seen in 10 Premier League matches last season and whilst he has lost a couple of yards of pace his footballing brain still remains.
With a lot of Rooney’s squad being young players as well, Jagielka can be another dressing room leader and his experience can be counted on in tough times – Derby will almost certainly be going through quite a bit of those this season so ‘Jags’ will be needed.