This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Derby County have confirmed that the club have been unable to reach an agreement with Chris Martin over a new contract at Pride Park.
Martin has been an important player under Phillip Cocu this season, scoring 12 goals in 38 appearances across all competitions, but is now searching for a new club.
After putting pen to paper on a short-term extension until the end of the season, Derby have been unable to reach an agreement with Martin over a new deal at Pride Park.
Martin has scored 76 goals in 226 games for Derby during a seven-year stay at Pride Park, but will now be hoping to find another club and prepare for next season.
Who should be looking at signing Martin on a free transfer, then? Here, the FLW team discuss who should be in the race for his signature this summer…
Somewhere like Middlesbrough or Blackburn would probably suit him.
Neil Warnock will be keen to sign a striker that has a proven goalscoring record in the Championship, and Martin certainly has that.
Blackburn should also be looking at him, as he could be the ideal replacement for Danny Graham, who has recently left the Lancashire-based club.
Martin’s experience could be useful at a number of clubs next season, and even somewhere like QPR could be a useful move for both parties involved.
The Hoops will be looking to sign a striker permanently, with Jordan Hugill having returned to West Ham from his loan spell with Mark Warburton’s side.
Martin will be a player that attracts significant interest though, that’s for sure.
There should be loads keen.
So many clubs are looking for strikers now and Martin has continually shown he can do it at this level.
I expect clubs low on financial clout to be looking in particular so the likes of Birmingham City could fit the bill.
Sheffield Wednesday are another side that need attacking reinforcements and he could be a good number 9 for them.
Millwall like a striker like Martin, too, and if Kieffer Moore goes elsewhere perhaps they’d consider him.
Quiz: Do you remember which club Derby County signed these 15 players from?
It’s really tough to say as you have to find a club that’s willing to meet his contract demands.
For what it is worth, I feel he’s still got a lot to offer in the Championship, even towards the top of the division, so if you are a Bristol City (depending on who is appointed) could he be someone you look to bring in to offer a different dynamic up-front?
It’s teams of that ilk that I can see moving for the Scot and I wouldn’t rule out any of the three relegated sides taking a look at him as a freebie, but they will have to see who is cherry-picked from their own squad first.
Ultimately, I expect to see Martin somewhere in the Championship next season.