Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has said captain Tom Lawrence is not for sale at any price this summer, speaking to The Athletic’s Ryan Conway.
This defiant message comes after West Bromwich Albion’s reported interest in the 27-year-old, with the Daily Mail saying Valerien Ismael’s side will make a move for the winger if Matheus Pereira or Sam Johnstone leave The Hawthorns this summer.
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After the former’s confirmed departure to Al-Hilal this afternoon, a move from West Brom officials on this potential deal could be imminent with the Baggies inevitably keen on replacing the Brazilian, who recorded an impressive 17 goal contributions in the Premier League last term.
Despite their relegation from the top flight a few months ago, they look to be in much better shape than Derby County who are currently being hampered by a transfer embargo and despite being able to make three signings today, look very short of quality and depth going into their Championship opener against Huddersfield Town tomorrow afternoon.
One valuable asset that could be sold to try and persuade the EFL to give them more leeway in the transfer window is winger Lawrence, who was made captain by Wayne Rooney in the summer and stands out as one of the Rams’ best players.
Despite enduring a frustrating last campaign, making just 23 league appearances, the 27-year-old has showcased his quality in the past.
The Welshman’s 10 goals and four assists during the 2019/20 season shows what he’s capable of – but West Brom will not be getting their hands on him between now and the end of this month according to Derby boss Wayne Rooney.
Speaking to The Athletic journalist Ryan Conway on this subject, Rooney said: “Ask West Brom (about Lawrence). But Tom will be going nowhere. No amount of money will get him out of this football club. That’s for sure.”
Derby County are stuck between a rock and a hard place in this situation.
Despite him being out of contract in under 12 months and his sale potentially persuading the EFL to lift restrictions, Lawrence has been a big part of Wayne Rooney’s pre-season plans as the club’s new captain and without him, they face a very dark future.
You also have to ask whether the Rams can afford to let him go, considering the lack of squad depth they have at the moment and the EFL keeping a firm grip on the club’s transfer business.
On Rooney’s comments, it’s great to see hear set him set a firm stance on the winger but is he wise to give a definitive answer on his future?
Things can change very quickly – and considering the fact West Brom have felt the need to sell Pereira or Johnstone before making this offer may indicate that a tempting seven-figure offer is on the horizon.