Derby County are facing a very nervous ending to the season with Wayne Rooney’s side having been dragged back into the relegation scrap in recent weeks after looking comfortable at one stage.
The Rams were helped by Birmingham City’s 1-0 win at Rotherham United on Sunday, but they are still going to need to pick up some much-needed extra points in the next few weeks to be sure of their survival. The pressure will be on Rooney to turn their form around and try and find a different way of winning matches in the final few games of the campaign.
Should Derby survive the drop they are going to need a very good transfer window in the summer if they are going to be able to kick on and make progress. Rooney will need backing and will need to bring in the right sort of players to strengthen key areas of the field where they have been lacking throughout an underwhelming season.
With that in mind, we round-up all of the latest transfer news concerning the Rams…
Rooney reveals Lee Gregory decision set to be made in the summer
One player who the Rams could be looking at bringing into the club on a permanent deal in the summer transfer window is Stoke City forward Lee Gregory. The experienced striker has spent most of the second half of the campaign with Derby having arrived on loan in the winter window. He has managed to chip in with three goals and one assist in his 11 league appearances.
The forward’s season has been brought to a premature end through a hamstring injury he suffered in the win against Luton Town. Rooney revealed he would be out for the rest of the campaign and that it was a major blow for his side ahead of the end-of-season run-in. However, he did also admit he has been impressed by the attitude and the energy he had brought to the side.
The Derby boss also suggested that there is a chance he could return to the club in the summer, with him suggesting the club would make a decision over his long-term future at the end of the campaign. Gregory will be entering into the final year of his existing deal with the Potters in the summer, so there might be a chance to sort a deal out at a reasonable fee.
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Another player that is on Derby’s transfer radar ahead of the summer window is Plymouth Argyle’s impressive forward Luke Jephcott. The Rams alongside both Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday have been credited with an interest in the 21-year-old. He has managed to fire in 16 goals in 38 appearances in League Two this campaign.
The latest report on his situation from Lancashire Live has revealed that Plymouth are set to place a valuation of around £5 million on the talented forward this summer. That suggests that he is not going to be available cheaply and given the amount of interest and the fact he is under contract at Plymouth, the League One club can demand a high fee for him.
Derby will certainly need to survive the drop before they can contemplate paying a fee of around £5 million for a single player this summer. While it will also all depend on the sort of funds that are going to be made available to Rooney. That will of course again all be dependent on whether the takeover involving Erik Alonso can go through or not.
Rooney confirms Derby transfer plans underway amid potential takeover
Rooney revealed to the media last week that he has had long conversations with prospective new Derby owner Erik Alonso over Rams’ potential transfer business in the summer. He admitted that after the talks were held there is already work going on now behind the scenes to try and identify the right sort of transfer targets to being into the club.
That came after Alonso himself revealed that he would be prepared to back Rooney in the transfer market and would also be prepared to spend around £150 million in the transfer window if that is what it would to take to get the club in the Premier League. However, until the takeover is confirmed and goes through nothing will be able to be sorted out in the transfer market.