Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan, a senior member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, is in advanced talks with Rams owner Mel Morris with the EFL close to giving the green light to the deal.
Derby are captained by England's record goal scorer and former Manchester United star Rooney.
Sheikh Khaled has failed in the past with attempts to buy Liverpool and Newcastle but the latest efforts appear more promising.
Morris has been seeking investment in the club, who are struggling in the Championship, for a significant period. The businessman, worth about £500million, is expected to step aside from his role as chairman.