Wayne Rooney has revealed he will go into management once he has finished playing - and has already begun taking his coaching badges.
Rooney, 25, could still have another ten years of playing ahead of him, but the Manchester United striker is wasting no time in preparing for life in the dugout. He hopes the influence of Sir Alex Ferguson will allow him to follow in the footsteps of other former United players such as Steve Bruce and Mark Hughes.
He intends to start managing in the lower leagues, as Paul Ince did with Macclesfield Town, rather than look for a direct route into the Premier League.
And, in an interview with MUTV, the striker again spoke with regret at his decision to hand in a transfer request earlier this year.
"I would like to be a manager. That would be my ambition when I finish playing,'' Rooney said. "You see the players who have played for Sir Alex and gone on to be good managers. I am hoping to do that one day.
"But I wouldn't like to follow the manager here, or start at an Everton or Manchester United. I want to learn something about the lower leagues and build a reputation that way rather than just jumping into a big club.
"It is not right if someone goes in and gets a big job with no experience. There are managers who have worked for years trying to get that.''
Rooney, who likes to relax before matches by listening to former Britain's Got Talent contestant Susan Boyle, said he was out of order to demand assurances about United's continued progress from Ferguson and chief executive David Gill.
"I went to see the manager and David Gill and asked them for answers,'' he recalled. "Now I realise it has nothing to do with me but I wanted to make sure it was the right thing for me to do.
"I got the answers in the end but looking back it was probably wrong of me to do that.''
Rooney spoke of his alarm at a group of disgruntled fans gathering outside his house to make their feelings known.
"I looked out and saw 30 blokes with their hoods up. I wasn't going to invite them in for tea,'' he said. "I understood some of the fans were disappointed and felt let down. But it was just one of those things I had to get right.
"Thankfully I have sorted it out now. I have made the right decision and made myself happy.
"But I didn't even think about where I was going to go. There was no way I would have gone to Manchester City and there was more chance of me going to City than Liverpool.''