There are a few Derby players that will be attracting interest during the winter month and trying to keep hold of them whilst figuring out a way to add to his squad is going to be a tough task for the gaffer.
However, it can be done. Simple decisions and focus on the basics will stand Derby in good stead in this window and give them every possible chance of keeping this squad for the rest of the season.
Keeping the key men
This might be obvious but Rooney's biggest task will be trying to keep his best players. Any one of these Derby players could be subject to offers, especially with their form in the league despite the off the pitch issues they've faced.
Tom Lawrence, Jason Knight and Nathan Byrne are all club regulars who could be subject of interest whilst the youngsters such as, Liam Thompson, Festy Ebosele and Lee Buchanan are impressing to the point other clubs are taking note.
However, keeping his players may have become slightly easier after the clubs run of form has made the almost impossible task of staying up, very much impossible. Keeping a core group will be a crucial part of the squad achieving survival in the second half of the season.
This may be similar to keeping players, however, some will move on because of interest from other clubs whereas sometimes players running contracts down is another way of forcing moves.
Thankfully for the Rams, it looks like that's not going to happen. The players have a good atmosphere around the dressing room and there have been no rumours of players being unsettled at the club or itching for a move away.
Phil Jagielka is the one contract that Derby must get over the line. Rooney has been openly vocal about his desire to keep the experienced centre-back at the club and in a partnership with Curtis Davies.
It has been reported that talks are underway with the player as Rooney said this past weekend, according to the Derby Telegraph: "We are talking now [about a contract extension] and I am sure we will get that done, get that over the line, and that will be a massive signing for us."
Sam Baldock's contract is also up this month and it would be wise for Derby to get a deal done there to keep a stable squad together.
In the summer the contracts of over 15 players are up including captain Tom Lawrence and Nottingham Forest transfer Target Lee Buchanan. However, the youngster does have an optional 12-month extension period in his contract the club could utilise.
Amazing Amad links
This morning it emerged that there were reported links between Derby and Amad Diallo with a possible loan move on the cards for the 19-year-old.
It is understood Manchester United are happy to let the youngster leave in order to gain more first-team experience and the United link with Rooney has put Derby near the front of the field of proposed clubs.
Derby are still allowed to sign players, as long as it's a loan with no loan-fee involved or the player is currently a free agent.
It would be unlikely United would require a loan fee if they are willing to let the Ivory Coast international leave on loan, leaving the decision up with Diallo and Derby themselves.
He could play anywhere across an attacking trio in a 4-2-3-1 system and his signature would offer Derby another attacking reinforcement as the club look to keep the miracle of survival alive.