Wayne Rooney insists he still wants the Derby job despite competition for the post hotting up at the Championship bottom club.
Manchester United and England record scorer Rooney is preparing the Rams for Saturday’s game at Millwall as their caretaker.
But fellow former England captain John Terry, who is a coach at Aston Villa, also wants the job permanently.
The pair are both waiting on a takeover at Pride Park to be completed by Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan.
A deal is very close but completion has been delayed by national holidays in the UAE on Wednesday and yesterday.
Rooney, 35, said on Thursday: “The first thing is getting the ownership over the line.
“That is the first thing that needs to happen.
“I want to do this job full-time but we have to wait for all the paperwork to be sorted and we will see what happens from there.”
Derby are on an 11-match winless run and are five points from safety.
Rooney has been in sole charge the last two home games against Wycombe and Coventry which both ended 1-1.
The player-coach will again be in the dug-out at the weekend after removing himself from the squad to concentrate on management.
Rooney, who has been keeping fit at home, added: “It’s been fine, I am really enjoying it.
“There has been progress in performances.”
Rival Terry has a backroom staff lined up including former Ram Ashley Cole, who is now a Chelsea academy coach.
Terry has been endorsed by former Derby boss Frank Lampard who said: “I think it is a great opportunity for him.
“He’s going to be a fantastic coach.”
Sign up for the Mirror Football newsletter here