Michael Owen says Wayne Rooney moving in to management ‘was always going to be the next step for him’

Michael Owen has revealed former team-mate Wayne Rooney has always wanted to go into management.

Rooney has signed an 18-month deal with Derby County and will join the Championship side in January as player-coach, bringing an end to his stay at MLS club DC United.

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Owen and Rooney were strike partners for club and country

Owen played alongside Rooney for both England and Manchester United and says it has come as no surprise to see his ex-strike partner take his first steps towards becoming a manager.

Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT, to continue his promotion for his new book, Reboot – My Life, My Time, Owen said: “It’s a huge surprise in terms of what happened, but it’s not a surprise his desire to go into management.

“He always wanted to.

“When I was at Manchester United there was a big group of us doing our badges together, and he always used to talk about going into management.

“I think he grew into that… being a captain and a leader of the dressing room. It was always going to be the next step for him.”

Owen and Rooney with the Premier League in 2011

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Owen and Rooney with the Premier League in 2011

Owen, who won the Ballon d’Or in 2001, has already made the back pages for his explosive comments about his bitter spell at Newcastle United and decade-long feud with Alan Shearer.

Joining Alan Brazil and Sam Allardyce live on talkSPORT, he also lifted the lid on his move from Liverpool to Real Madrid and revealed Reds legend Jamie Carragher begged him to stay at Anfield before he opted to join the Spanish giants.

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