Derby County have less than two weeks until their Championship season begins and there are still real problems to address at Pride Park.
The Rams have just 12 players on the books that they could consider regular first-team players from last season and Wayne Rooney has taken a number of trialists on board with the hope that he can make some signings in the near future.
They have been cleared to make some signings with restrictions by the EFL however the likes of Ravel Morrison, Sone Aluko and others haven’t put pen-to-paper yet.
It could be a busy few weeks at County – let’s look at all the latest transfer news coming out of Pride Park.
Rams youngster top of Forest’s shortlist
Surprise news emerged late last week as it was reported by Alan Nixon that Derby’s bitterest rivals Nottingham Forest were lining up a move for young left-back Lee Buchanan.
Forest’s first bid for the 20-year-old was rejected, however they’re expected to go in again with The Athletic confirming that Buchanan is at the top of Chris Hughton’s list when it comes to left-back targets, with that position a priority in terms of strengthening.
Derby’s stance is that they have no intention of selling Buchanan, however every player has a valuation – it just so happens that Forest’s opening bid fell well short of what County want.
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Celtic eye Buchanan swoop
It’s not just Forest who want to take Buchanan away from Pride Park as reports have emerged from Scotland that Premiership runners-up Celtic are now in the running for the youngster, per the Daily Record.
The Hoops could be looking at a double swoop on County with Nathan Byrne linked for the right side of defence, and they could test Derby’s resolve as they still fall under tough transfer restrictions.
With no takeover in the offing following the collapse of deals involving both Sheikh Khaled and Erik Alonso earlier this year, Derby may have to accept a reasonable seven-figure offer for Buchanan and you’d imagine they’d much rather let the England under-21 international go to Celtic than their biggest rivals.
Rooney makes Jagielka claim
Among Derby’s free agent trialists right now is former England international Phil Jagielka, who is looking to prolong his career at the age of 38 after leaving Sheffield United for the second time.
The defence is a position where Derby are lacking the most with not one senior centre-back, however both Andre Wisdom and Curtis Davies are back training as the club seek to tie them down to new contracts.
Speaking about Jagielka’s potential signing, Rooney said, per the Derby Telegraph: “I played with him for both club and country. I know what he brings and I am sure you saw against Salford, I don’t think he lost a header.
“He is a fantastic player and he’s still got a little life in him yet!”
It seems as though Jagielka could be one of the new signings coming through the door in the coming weeks but as ever the Rams need EFL approval.