After impressing during his spell as interim manager, Derby have decided to give Rooney a two-and-a-half-year contract to take accept the job on permanent terms.
The Rams had handed the reigns at Pride Park to Rooney on November 14, following the sacking of Phillip Cocu with the club bottom of the Championship standings.
Rooney’s appointment has brought a close to the former England and Manchester United star’s illustrious playing career.
Under his stewardship Derby’s form has taken an upturn – winning three and drawing four of his nine games in charge. The Rams are currently third from bottom in the Championship, and level on points with fourth-from-bottom Sheffield Wednesday.
Derby chief executive Stephen Pearce explained in a club statement the reasoning behind Rooney’s appointment.
“We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Wayne Rooney as our new manager,” said Pearce.
“Our recent upturn in results under Wayne was married together with some positive performances, notably the 2-0 home win over Swansea City and the 4-0 victory at Birmingham City.
“During that nine-game run we also dramatically improved their defensive record and registered five clean sheets in the process, while in the attacking third we became more effective and ruthless too.
“Those foundations have provided a platform for the club to build on in the second half of the season under Wayne’s guidance.”
Rooney, speaking on his appointment, has been “blown away” by the resources available to him at the club and that he “instinctively” knew Derby was the right club for him.
“When I first arrived back in the United Kingdom I was completely blown away by the potential of Derby County Football Club. The Stadium, Training Ground, the quality of the playing staff and the young players coming through and of course the fan base that has remained loyal and supportive. Rooney said.
“Despite other offers I knew instinctively Derby County was the place for me.
“To be given the opportunity to follow the likes of Brian Clough, Jim Smith, Frank Lampard and Phillip Cocu is such an honour and I can promise everyone involved in the club and all our fans, my staff and I will leave no stone unturned in achieving the potential I have witnessed over the last 12 months of this historic football club.”
The appointment offers a crumb of stability to the players and coaching staff, just days after they were told that the club could not pay half of their wages for December.
The Rams talks over a potential takeover by the Deventio Holdings are still ongoing.
Liam Rosenior has also been confirmed as assistant manager.
Shay Given will become first-team coach and Justin Walker will remain as first-team development coach.
Rooney’s first game as Derby’s new permanent manager is Saturday’s Championship match at home against Rotherham United.