LONDON: Wayne Rooney has been appointed new manager of Birmingham City and has set a target of bringing the club back into the Premier League.

The former England captain, 37, was appointed the Championship club’s new manager on a three-and-a-half-year contract on Wednesday.

Rooney said he was “intrigued” and “excited” by the opportunity he now has at St Andrew’s.

He told BBC Radio WM: “I want to build Birmingham back up – really get it back to where it belongs. It’s a huge club.”

“It hasn’t been where I think I should it have been over the last 10 years and now this is a challenge and an opportunity to get it back there.”

Rooney’s appointment is the first made by Blues’ new American owners Shelby Companies Limited (SCL), who took over in July and ended head coach John Eustace’s 15-month spell in charge on Monday.

SCL is a subsidiary of Birmingham owners Knighthead Capital Management LLC, who welcomed seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady as a minority owner of the club in August.

It marks a return to English football for Rooney, who heads into his third job in management after stints with Derby County and, most recently, American side DC United – who he left earlier this month.

Birmingham sit sixth in the Championship going into the international break, with Rooney’s first game in charge away at Middlesbrough – managed by his former Manchester United team-mate Michael Carrick – on 21 October.

“I’m excited and, after speaking to the owners, was intrigued and wanted to get in and be part of it.

“The club is looking to elevate itself to new levels and I really want to be the one to lead that.”

The former Manchester United and Everton striker said he has already had a “great” meeting with the squad and highlighted the quality of the young players he can now develop, saying “that’s something I’ve always tried to do as a coach”.

Giving young players their opportunity was one of the things Rooney became known for during a turbulent time in charge of Derby, whom he saved them from relegation in his first four months at the helm, only to suffer relegation to League One the following season in 2021-22 against the backdrop of administration, a 21-point penalty and a transfer embargo.