Wayne Rooney determined to keep ahold of Nathan Byrne amid Celtic interest

By Euan Davidson

July 24, 2021

Derby County boss Wayne Rooney has said none of his players are for sale, after reported interest from Celtic in right-back Nathan Byrne.

Byrne was identified by the Sun as a Celtic target. The Bhoys are sorely lacking at the right-back position. Currently, Anthony Ralston and Lee O’Connor represent the default options, though Osaze Urhoghide can play there if required.

Rooney, who took the Derby County job in January 2021 [DCFC], is determined to keep his top players. The record goalscorer for Manchester United said [Derbyshire Live]:

“None of my players are going anywhere.

“Obviously, we haven’t got enough players as it is.

“The way we are trying to play, they are the two most important players on the pitch, so none of my players will be leaving the club this transfer window unless it is to benefit them, whether it is a loan, but that can only happen if we are allowed to bring players in.”

Rooney, a self-confessed Celtic supporter [Goal], has a significant job to do keeping Derby County up this season. The Rams were saved by a moment of magic from former Bhoy Patrick Roberts, but have been handed a suspended 3 point penalty by the EFL [BBC].

Admittedly, that penalty won’t affect their league status this season, but it’s a sign of deeper financial malaise at Derby County [Derbyshire Live].

Celtic face tough negotiator in Wayne Rooney, but Derby County probably need to sell Nathan Byrne

Celtic desperately need a right-back. Interest in Sacha Boey, Brandon Soppy, Aurelio Buta and Nathan Byrne all support the fact.

But the situation the Rams find themselves in is a messy one. Their ongoing dispute with the EFL had Wayne Rooney saying he was prepared to leave [Derbyshire Live].

Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

A number of high earners, including Scott Carson and ex-Rangers man Martyn Waghorn have already left on free transfers [Transfermarkt]. They’re yet to add to their first-team squad.

So, Wayne Rooney can be as bullish as he likes. But if the right bid comes in for Byrne, then it’s likely the club would accept.

Nathan Byrne had an excellent debut campaign with the Rams. He appeared in 41 Championship games, making an impressive 1.6 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per 90 [WhoScored?].

It’s little wonder Wayne Rooney wants to keep him. However, his club’s resolve could be seriously tested by the Bhoys.

In other news: David Moyes’ kind assessment of Celtic display