With the Euros coming towards the end and the transfer season having flung open its doors once again, the rumours are becoming more substantial by the day and the race to sign – or keep hold of – players is heating up. Derby’s squad reported back for pre-season on 4th July, and we can surely expect to now see some transfer activity from the Rams any day now.
The rumours surrounding other clubs wishing to poach Will Hughes are back in full swing, as usual. The Sun is reporting that new Manchester United boss José Mourinho is lining up a £7 million bid for Derby’s academy product. ‘The Special One’ is reported to be looking into increasing the home-grown quota at Old Trafford, and Hughes is apparently in his sights.
Derby’s youngster has been a regular at the iPro in the past few years and is widely considered to be one of England’s rising stars. However, £7 million is thought to be far too low for Derby to accept, particularly in a climate that places Michael Keane at a value of at least £15 million. The Rams are almost certainly likely to hold out for a bid of upwards of £20 million; if they accept at all, with some reports suggesting Derby will offer Hughes a new deal in a bid to try and keep the starlet at the club.
The exit of Hughes would be a disaster for the Rams despite their abundance of midfield options. Hughes was sidelined for eight months of the last campaign, and the Rams looked a poorer side without his creativity and quality. A large fee could buy another good player, but the spark that Hughes brings to the team would certainly be when he is not in the squad, causing the midfield to look unbalanced and confused.
It is inevitable that he will leave the Rams one day, but fans can hope it won’t be until they are an established Premier League side, therefore at such a time when his absence may not be so catastrophic.
Fan Reaction – Negative to the point of sarcasm, with many suggesting that the original article may not be true, given the small price tag that has been put on Hughes. No Derby fan would be happy to see Hughes leave, but every supporter agrees that if he does then it would have to be for a much larger fee than the quoted £7 million.
After Jeff Hendrick’s impressive performances in the Euros, it is no surprise that there is interest in another midfielder from the Derby academy. Having broken through in the 2011/12 season, Hendrick has been a regular feature in Derby’s midfield, despite often being quite inconsistent.
The 24-year-old produced some wonderful performances during the Euro 2016 tournament and has attracted interest from both Burnley and Middlesbrough, as both attempt to bolster their squads on their returns to the Premier League. Derby have a plethora of options in midfield so may be tempted to sell a player that has struggled to find consistency in his career so far, however, many fans do now believe that his experiences at a high international level could be the turning point in his career.
Derby would probably be better off giving him a chance to shine this season and seeing where both parties stand this time next year in regards to a possible transfer.
Fan Reaction – Quite mixed. Many would be happy to take a bid of £5 million+ if it did materialise, given his fairly inconsistent performances in the past. However, plenty think he should be given a chance to restart his Derby career in a bid to return the Rams to the Premier League.
Now comes a bit of an odd one, but certainly an interesting prospect for the only new incoming rumour with any substance. Initially at least, Dimitar Berbatov was mentioned but quickly dispelled as a Twitter rumour for the time being.
A fairly hefty rumour has emerged on a reputable message board that there will be an incoming player before Derby go on their pre-season tour to Portugal. This would almost certainly be dismissed as speculation and ‘ITKers’ spreading rumours, but a member of staff at Derby then tweeted that there is reportedly due to be movement sometime this week.
Whilst this could easily be another internet rumour, it is gathering pace and could be something to keep an eye out for. Many are wondering whether it is a target mentioned previously – such as Jonathan Kodjia – with a good many people rapidly growing excited about this. Draw your own conclusions from it though, for it could turn out to be nothing.
Fan Reaction – Positive whilst also acknowledging it could be rubbish, with a few refusing to believe it until something more substantial has come forward. This is probably the only way to approach the situation at the current time.
Derby fans should expect things to heat up in the coming days and weeks, with the season fast approaching and managers wanting to know their squads for the season ahead. There will presumably be plenty of ins and outs over the coming weeks, with plenty of rumours flying about in between.
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