Wayne Rooney says it is “possible” he has played his final game after leaving himself out to take sole charge of Derby’s home fixture against Wycombe.
The former England captain, 35, has been in joint-interim charge alongside Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker for the Rams’ past two matches.
They have collectively overseen two defeats so far since previous manager Phillip Cocu’s exit on 14 November.
But Rooney will be the quartet’s lead voice for Saturday’s Championship game.
He says he does not believe it is possible to play and manage and therefore might not add to his 860 career club appearances.
“That possibility is there,” Rooney said.
“I have stated I want to do this job and go into management but the focus on Saturday, as the new owners are not in, although it is days away, has to be tomorrow.
“I am sure in the near future I will be able to answer that in a better way. I will speak to new owners once it is finalised and see where we go from there.”
Former England boss Steve McClaren returned to Derby in a technical director role on Tuesday.
Since that appointment, Rooney has been given responsibility for team selection and tactics for Saturday’s game.
Rooney is among the candidates to get the manager’s job going forward, but it is believed the club will not make an appointment before the outcome of a proposed takeover led by Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan is known.
Derby are bottom of the table with one win from their 13 league games so far this season.