Wayne Rooney is a target for Birmingham City if John Eustace leaves the Championship club.

Rooney, the former Manchester United and England captain, is under consideration as a replacement for Eustace by Birmingham’s new American owners.

Birmingham are unbeaten so far this season under Eustace, the former midfielder, but US-based Shelby Companies Limited (SCL) have discussed making a big-name appointment after completing their takeover in July.

Telegraph Sport understands that Rooney has been identified as a genuine contender as the club aim for a return to the Premier League next season after a 13-year absence.

Rooney is the head coach of Major League Soccer franchise DC United, yet recently admitted his future was uncertain with his contract due to expire in December.

There is no suggestion that Eustace is close to being sacked, but he was linked with jobs at Rangers and Swansea this summer so checks have been made on Rooney’s availability.

SCL are an affiliate of Knighthead Capital Management, who have links to seven-times Superbowl winner Tom Brady.

The club’s chief executive officer is Garry Cook, who held a similar role at Manchester City and is close with Rooney’s camp.

Rooney, 37, performed an impressive job with Derby County in his last managerial post in English football, leading the club through a torrid time of administration and financial crisis.

After bringing down the curtain on his glittering playing career, which included five Premier League titles and the European Cup with United, he took his first management job with Derby in 2020.

He led them to safety in his first campaign on the final day, but was unable to prevent relegation to League One in the 2012/22 season, following Derby’s punishment of a 21-point deduction for breaching financial rules.

DC United are in the ninth and final play-off positions and face San Jose in their next game this Sunday.

Rooney also played for DC United and was appointed manager in July last year.

Rooney ‘disappointed’ with DC United

Earlier this week Rooney said that talks over a proposed new deal had yet to materialise.

“I am slightly disappointed and frustrated that there has been no contact for two months,” he told the Washington Post.

“We asked about a new deal. We can sit down and talk about it. We haven’t heard back.

“Either way, I can take whatever the situation is. I was hoping we would have, either way, at least spoken about it. That hasn’t been the case.

“We asked to sit down and speak because planning for next season needs to go ahead. So we asked two months ago where everything was at, are we moving forward or not moving forward — if that’s the case from their point of view — and we haven’t heard back.

“That’s frustrating because, either way, I’d rather know what’s the plan because we have to plan for next season. We need to do it earlier rather than later. The fact we haven’t heard back is probably signalling one thing, but I’m sure they’ll have their reasons for that. So I’ll wait and see.”

Rooney was previously England’s all-time record scorer with 53 goals in 120 appearance, until being overtaken by Harry Kane. He remains United’s record goalscorer with 253 goals in 559 matches.

Birmingham have started the season impressively under Eustace, with the club fourth in the Championship table after a 1-1 draw with Millwall on Saturday. They return to action on September 16 with a trip to Watford.

Eustace was praised for the job he performed last season under difficult circumstances, with former owners Birmingham Sports Holding Limited hugely unpopular with supporters.