Derby County have set a price tag of £3 million for their club captain Curtis Davies.
According to the Mirror, the 33-year-old veteran had been linked with a move along the A50 to the Bet 365 Arena and Stoke City.
Former Rams manager Gary Rowett – who made that move last month – had initially been rumoured to take several key players with him including goalkeeper Scott Carson, top goalscorer Matej Vydra and Davies.
Fortunately for Derby, the Telegraph dismissed those claims earlier this week but reported interest did prompt Lampard to put a £3 million price tag on his captain’s head.
Davies played 48 times for Derby last season, keeping 21 clean sheets and scoring one goal against his former club, Hull.
Having joined the Rams for a mere £500k from the Tigers, for a price tag to be set at £3 million – almost a year later – speaks volumes of his performances last season.
This supposed fee is a tall order for a defender of that age in the Championship – although not unjustified – but it speaks volumes of Derby’s eagerness to hold on to their number 33.
If Davies were to leave, the Derby Telegraph understands that Rams gaffer Frank Lampard would make a move to reunite with his former Chelsea teammate and current free agent; John Terry.
Although a member of last season’s Championship Team of the Year and an undeniable leader he would be a significant downgrade for the Rams.
Terry, who is four years Davies’ senior, made a respectable 35 league appearances last season but still missed more than a third of the Championship season.
In a physically demanding division, asking Terry to replace Davies could be an unwise gamble. This summer the former England captain may be better placed to join the Rams as a defending rotation or coaching addition to support Lampard’s adjustment.
To ask the former Villa and Chelsea captain to lead another side through a grueling 46 game season – week in, week out – could be far-fetched.
Davies has become a mainstay in the Rams defence and was a true leader throughout this past season. If Derby were to lose him this summer it would be devastating.
It should be a priority for Lampard to retain Davies’ services this summer. Baring a ridiculous offer, the Rams should do everything they can to make sure he leads out the squad at Pride Park, next season.