Championship side Derby County are keen to appoint former England captain Wayne Rooney as a player-coach.
The forward, 33, still has over two seasons left on his contract with Major League Soccer side DC United.
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 Rams remain optimistic.
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 after Monday’s opening Championship win at Huddersfield Town, 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.”