Former Derby County coach Kevin Phillips has tipped Leeds United to reignite their interest in Louie Sibley and suggested they may be able to sign him for “next to nothing”.
The Rams appointed administrators due to their ongoing financial issues last week and were handed a subsequent 12-point deduction.
It is understood that there is at least one party interested in a takeover bid if the price is right but the Pride Park faithful won’t want to get their hopes up until something concrete is in place.
Speaking to Football Insider, Phillips – who has previously been a coach at Derby – addressed the current situation at the East Midlands club and suggested that it would hand an opportunity to Leeds to reignite their interest in Sibley.
He said: “Unfortunately, when someone is having a tough time there are always predators waiting to jump and take advantage of the situation.
“It hurts me to see what is happening at Derby having spent three years there as a coach. Mel Morris did great things with the stadium and the training ground there but if you’re not careful it can come back to bite you on the backside. We have seen it happen to Leeds over the years.
“There is an opportunity now for clubs to sign the good players Derby have got for next to nothing. There will probably be some daft offers going in. Derby will need the money unless they find a buyer by then.
“It’s another opportunity for Leeds to sign Louie Sibley. I know very well and let me tell you he’d be a brilliant signing for them.”
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Last January, it was reported that the Whites held a concrete interest in the 20-year-old attacking midfielder but a move never materialised.
The Derby academy product has gone on to make 60 appearances for the Rams, including featuring 11 times in the 2021/22 campaign.
Have Derby County ever been involved in these 18 scenarios?
If a buyer can’t be found ahead of the January window, there will be clubs looking to swoop for some of Derby’s most valuable assets.
The East Midlands club has plenty of young, exciting players and Sibley is certainly among them.
Losing the 20-year-old in a cut-price deal would be a huge blow, particularly if it is to Leeds given the recent history between the two clubs.
Sibley’s current contract runs until 2024 but depending on what situation the Rams are in once January rolls around, they may have no choice but to let him go if a significant bid is made.