Derby County are reportedly open to letting captain Tom Lawrence leave for free in January with Bournemouth, Stoke City, Swansea City, and West Bromwich Albion all interested.
Earlier this week, Derby confirmed they’d been handed a further nine-point penalty by the EFL, which takes their total deducted points for the season to 21 and all but ends their chances of Championship survival.
It seems the East Midlands club are planning for life in the third tier already as Mail Online has reported they’re willing to let Lawrence leave on a free transfer in the upcoming window.
The 27-year-old is thought to be among the club’s highest earners at £37,000 per week and is out of contract in the summer.
The report claims that Bournemouth, Stoke, Swansea, and West Brom have all expressed interest in the Wales international.
When fit, Lawrence has been a regular fixture in the Rams side since joining from Leicester City in 2017 – scoring 28 times and adding 23 assists in 161 appearances for the Pride Park outfit.
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This makes a lot of sense from a Derby perspective and is a forward-thinking decision.
Losing your captain and one of Wayne Rooney’s key forward options midway through the season would obviously be a blow but with relegation pretty much confirmed and his contract expiring in the summer anyway, getting him off the wage bill makes a lot of sense.
He’s been a useful player for Derby over the past four years but £37,000 per week is an astronomical wage for the sort of output that the 27-year-old has produced since the start of last season.
Should a new owner arrive before or in the January window, whoever it might be, the club’s stance may change on Lawrence’s future but you do feel this could be a good time to offload the attacker given his high wages.
The Welshman will likely want to stay in the Championship and it seems he won’t be short of suitors.