DC United hire Jenkinson as Performance Director in strong Rooney hint

Is this proof Rooney’s staying in Washington? DC United hire Luke Jenkinson – who worked with their coach at Derby- as performance director in strong hint the Man United legend will not leave despite links to Everton

  • Rooney has been touted as a potential replacement for Frank Lampard at Everton
  • But the arrival of Jenkinson in DC all but confirms he is staying with the MLS side
  • Click here for all your latest international sports news from DailyMail.com 

DC United have provided the strongest hint yet over Wayne Rooney’s future by hiring Luke Jenkinson – who previously worked alongside him at Derby County – as their new First Team Performance Director.

Rooney has been regularly linked with a return to the Premier League during his six-month spell in charge of DC, where he only won two out of 14 games last season.

The ex-England captain recently shut down talk of a move back to Everton, where he burst onto the scene at 16, yet his boyhood club’s decision to fire Frank Lampard on Monday means he is now being touted as a potential replacement.

Sportsmail understands that former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa is the Toffees’ No 1 choice to succeed Lampard, however, while the likes of Sean Dyche and David Moyes are also believed to be in the running.

DC United have provided a strong hint over the future of Wayne Rooney (R) by hiring Luke Jenkinson (L) as First Team Performance Director

Rooney has been linked with a return to Everton after they fired Frank Lampard (pictured)

And DC have suggested Rooney is going nowhere by hiring Jenkinson as a Performance Director, with the pair’s ‘close relationship’ said to be a key factor in bringing him over from Derby.

Jenkinson spent over six years with the English team in a number of roles including Head of Sports Science and Head of Performance. He spent around 18 months working alongside Rooney before the latter’s departure in June of last year.

‘Bringing Luke to the club as the performance director is a testament to our commitment towards bringing in top class leadership to the first team,’ DC United President of Soccer Operations Dave Kasper said.

‘His close relationship with Wayne at Derby County will be valuable for us and we look forward to integrating his experience and soccer knowledge to ensure our players are physically prepared for the 2023 season.’

But the arrival of Jenkinson, who worked with Rooney at Derby County, suggests the DC head coach will be staying put in Washington

Jenkinson added: ‘I’m looking forward to getting started with an exciting project at D.C. United.

‘I worked closely with Wayne during his time at Derby County so it’s exciting to rejoin him in MLS; a league that has grown exponentially over the last few years. I want to thank ownership and Dave Kasper for the opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.’

Rooney distanced himself from the Everton job amid doubts over Lampard’s future earlier this month, and Jenkinson’s arrival all but confirms he has no plans to leave DC anytime soon. 

‘It was the same last time when Benitez left the club but I think it would be very unfair for me to speak about Everton,’ the Everton academy graduate told The Telegraph. 

‘Obviously Frank Lampard is the manager, Moshiri has come out backing him. Frank’s a former team-mate of mine so it would be very unfair if I start speaking about Everton and that role, because Frank is very much still the manager.’

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