Derby County are keen to appoint Wayne Rooney as a player-coach.
The former England skipper still has over two seasons left on the contract he signed with Major League Soccer team DC United last summer.
However, Rams owner Mel Morris feels Rooney could provide the impetus required to get the club back into the Premier League.
Rooney has made no secret of his desire to go into coaching and Derby feel that could also be a factor.
It is not known how close talks are to reaching a successful conclusion but the fact they have taken place and Derby remain optimistic is viewed as a positive sign.
Derby appointed Rooney’s former international team-mate Frank Lampard as their manager last season, although he has since moved on to Chelsea.
Speaking about his managerial aspirations at last week’s MLS All-Stars match, Rooney said: “It’s something which I want to stay involved in; [my coaching badges] are going well.
“I’m obviously still a player and I want to continue to play. When the time is right I can go into coaching or management.”
Rooney is contracted to his American club until the end of the 2021 season and said: “You never know what comes up and I think by the end of the contract I will see how I feel physically and make the decision on whether I can carry on playing or whether I have to stop.”
Asked about the Rooney rumours, current Derby boss Phillip Cocu told BBC Radio Derby: “I can’t say anything about that – we’re working hard to complete the team and we always try to find the best player in a certain position.
“In the world of football, we cannot speak before it is signed.”