Derby County could be set to make their first signings of the summer transfer window by adding both Phil Jagielka and Richard Stearman to their squad ahead of the 2021-22 season, according to The Sun’s Alan Nixon.
The Rams are currently operating under a transfer embargo, which restricts them to just free agent signings and loan deals when wages are within reason.
A lack of takeover at County will also be hampering Wayne Rooney’s plans to press on with building his squad ahead of the new campaign, and it looks like he is turning to some experience to fill gaps in his squad.
Derby don’t currently have any centre-backs in their squad, with Andre Wisdom and Curtis Davies’ contracts expired and loanees Matt Clarke, George Edmundson and Teden Mengi heading back to their parent clubs – although the latter is thought to be returning to Pride Park soon.
And Rooney is looking at replacing Davies’ experience at the back by taking both Jagielka and Stearman on trial with a view to making them permanent additions at the Rams.
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Jagielka was released by Sheffield United this summer and played 16 times in his second stint with the Blades, generally showing himself to be a steady hand still in the top flight when called upon at the age of 38.
Stearman meanwhile is now 33 years old and has been let go by Huddersfield Town, despite playing 21 times for the Terriers in the Championship last season.
But Rooney could be set to give him another chance in the second tier providing he impresses in training, with Derby also hoping the EFL will give them some leeway when it comes to completing incoming deals.
With Derby somewhat hampered by what they can do transfer-wise so far due to the embargo and also the lack of clarity regarding a potential takeover of the club, expect a few more potential deals like this to happen to fill the squad out.
Jagielka and Stearman will likely not cost too much to bring in and they could be positive influences to the youngsters that Rooney will be using next season – both have experienced promotion to the Premier League and in Jagielka’s case has been a mainstay there for a long time so he can only bring positives vibes.
It’s important to recognise though that this won’t be Derby’s transfer strategy throughout the window though – Rooney will have his eye on younger players to bring in but you get the feeling that they will need to sort out a takeover first and perhaps quickly to get some bigger deals over the line.