Tom Barkhuizen will be playing his football away from Deepdale at the start of the 2022/23 campaign, following his release from the Championship outfit.
Derby County, Bolton Wanderers and Rotherham United were all credited with interest in the 28-year-old’ services almost immediately after his release from Preston North End was confirmed, as per a Patron from journalist Alan Nixon.
Nixon’s latest Patreon has revealed that the Rams are pushing ahead in the race for the pacey winger, as Wayne Rooney looks to use the free-agent market to the best of his ability.
With the other two clubs in the running, it is the relegated League One club that are currently in pole position to land his signature.
Quiz: The big Derby County striker quiz – Score over 80% and you can call yourself a true Rams fan
Derby have also offered Malcolm Ebiowei fresh terms, according to the same report, with Crystal Palace leading the race for the 18-yea-old.
The addition of a player like Barkhuizen would be an excellent one for the Rams who will be eager to assemble a squad that can be successful in the lower division.
The 28-year-old also adds versatility and can be deployed in several different roles, as displayed during his time with the Lancashire outfit.
If they are able to sign Barkhuizen and agree fresh terms with the likes of Ebiowei and Curtis Davies, then it will be an excellent start to the summer for Rooney.
However, if a deal for Barkhuizen takes a while, there is every chance that other clubs could come in and offer better terms than what Derby can offer.