Derby County will be keen to get their summer transfer business done as soon as possible after narrowly escaping relegation from the Championship last season, ahead of preparations for the 2021/22 campaign.
The Rams clinched survival on the final day against Sheffield Wednesday with a terrifying 3-3 draw, consigning the Owls to relegation in the process.
Derby County manager Wayne Rooney will be hoping for a much more comfortable finish next season – but the club’s current transfer embargo is proving to a barrier to progress.
However, Rooney’s side can make signings, providing wage packages for new players are sensible and there are no transfer fees involved in any deals, according to the Derby Telegraph.
This means there could potentially be some movement at Pride Park in the coming weeks and months. Let’s take a look at some of the recent rumours surrounding the club.
Rooney keen on Crooks
According to the East Anglian Daily Times, Derby County have joined Ipswich Town in the race to secure the signature of Rotherham United midfielder Matt Crooks.
Despite Paul Cook identifying the 27-year-old as one of his main targets going into the summer, Derby County’s survival in the Championship could put them in pole position to land the midfielder.
However, with off-field uncertainty currently dominating the headlines at Pride Park and Crooks still having one year left to go on his contract, the second tier side may be unable to pay the fee required to lure him to the East Midlands.
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Success to stay at Watford?
With Ashley Fletcher signing for the Hornets on a five-year deal, the future of Isaac Success at the newly promoted side is uncertain.
In February, The Athletic’s Adam Leventhal revealed Success was a loan target for Derby County and Huddersfield Town – but a deal wasn’t able to be done and according to the Watford Observer, the 25-year-old wants to remain at Vicarage Road to fight for his place in the Premier League.
Any Derby deal completed for the forward would surely be a loan signing, with Success joining Watford from Grenada back in 2016 for £12.5m and the Nigerian’s contract at the club running until 2023. In their current state, the Rams would be unable to splash out the money needed to make it a permanent move.
Edmundson and Gregory subject of speculation
An exclusive from Football Insider on Friday revealed Scottish champions Rangers had rejected multiple bids for former Derby loanee George Edmundson, who joined the Rams in January for the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign.
However, with this amount of interest in the 23-year-old, a bidding war is likely to ensue and if Derby are unable to compete, they risk losing out on him to another interested side. But these rejections could also be good news for Wayne Rooney’s side, who may potentially try and negotiate a cheap loan deal for Edmundson for the 2021/22 season.
The Rams could also miss out on another former loanee in Lee Gregory. According to Football League World sources, recently relegated League One side Sheffield Wednesday are set to sign the 32-year-old.