STEVE COOPER is battling it out with star names Wayne Rooney, John Terry and Rafa Benitez for the Derby County manager's job, according to reports.

The former Wrexham man has been listed as fourth favourite to replace Phillip Cocu, who was sacked on Saturday with the club languishing at the wrong end of the Championship table.

In contrast, Cooper has led Swansea City to sixth position after the first 11 games, continuing the fine work of last season where the Welsh club reached the play-offs.

Caretaker boss Wayne Rooney is the leading contender to take over from Cocu, with the Manchester United and England legend at 7/4 to become the next permanent Derby manager.

Rooney is closely followed by second favourite John Terry at 7/2, while ex-Liverpool and Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez is 4/1 with Cooper priced at 5/1.

Derby, who are set to be bought by new investors, released the following statement when Cocu was relieved of his job.

It read: "Following discussions between the board and the club’s new investors, the formal process for identifying the next manager of Derby County is under way.

"The club will provide further communication when appropriate."