Wayne Rooney fears Derby’s targets will end up elsewhere if the sale of the club is not completed

Wayne Rooney fears Derby’s January targets will end up elsewhere if the sale of the club is not completed imminently.

Derby are currently operating under a transfer embargo after failing to pay players and staff last month, and the cash flow problems are not being helped by the delay in the proposed £60million takeover by Sheikh Khaled’s Derventio Holdings.

Asked if the embargo had scuppered potential transfer deals, after he had sealed his first win since being appointed as permanent manager against Bournemouth on Tuesday, Rooney replied: ‘Not scuppered at the minute, but the longer it goes on I am sure there are other teams that will be sniffing around players.

Wayne Rooney fears Derby’s targets will not sign if the sale of the club is not completed soon

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‘I know what players are like. If you don’t get it done when they want it done, there will be other options there.

‘It is not ideal, of course, but that is where we are at and we have to keep working in the background.’

Relegation-threatened Derby are one place above the Championship’s drop zone but the three clubs below them in the table all have games in hand.

Derby are operating under a transfer embargo after failing to pay players and staff last month 

Relegation-threatened Derby are one place above the Championship’s relegation zone

Sportsmail reported on Tuesday that contingency plans were being discussed by the Pride Park hierarchy amid fears the Dubai-based group’s deal – approved by the EFL in November – is on the verge of collapse.

So would such an eventuality cause Rooney, 35, to re-think his position as manager?

‘No, not at all,’ said the former England captain.

‘We need players in, whether that’s players to start or players to help the squad but if we weren’t to get them, I believe in my qualities to get the best out of the players I’ve got.’

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