Derby Round-up: Rams to lose star midfielder?; Celtic defender in-bound?

The yearly transfer speculation has begun and will surely only become more intense over the summer. Despite only recently hiring Nigel Pearson as manager, the speculation is still beginning to surround the Rams and shows no sign of slowing. Given the early nature of the transfer window and the Rams freshly dumped out of the play-offs, incomings are fairly light on the ground, but that is expected to change fairly rapidly.

Incomings

Fuseine Rashid – AFC United

The Rams are reportedly expected to sign the 16-year-old Swede some time in June, according to Stockholm based AFC United. Rashid is reported to have been to Derby on numerous occasions and liked the atmosphere and surroundings of the club, according to AFC United sports director Azad Budak. Presumably an effort to add to the quality of the academy teams, Rashid would be another welcome addition to u18s and u21s teams that are already brimming with attacking quality throughout. He would probably be one of a few incomings in the academy to replace the departures of Ivan Calero, Shaquille McDonald and Kwame Thomas, who were released at the end of the season following the publishing of Derby’s retained list.

Fan Reaction – Minimal reaction, what reaction there was was mostly positive given Rashid’s reported pace, but not enough known about him for much of a reaction in Derby’s fan base. 

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Grant Hanley – Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn’s Player of the Year has recently been linked with the Rams on various Twitter accounts, though only became noteworthy when the Derby Telegraph reported that The Sun in turn had reported on a planned £2.5m bid from the Rams to tempt the 24 year old Scot away from the Lancashire club that he has made over 200 appearances for since coming through the club’s academy. With no obvious outgoings currently reported from the defensive department, its hard to see Hanley as anything more as cover for Jason Shackell and Richard Keogh at centre-back, which suggests fan-favourite Jake Buxton could be on his way out if Derby do indeed bid for Hanley. However, then-Head Coach Darren Wassall stated that no approach had been made for the Blackburn captain, leaving the speculation currently just that.

Fan Reaction – Generally negative, with many fans thinking the club can do better than spend £2.5 million on a player that is considered no better than what we already have. Some fans have taken to describing the Scot as a ‘thug that can’t pass’. 

Oli Watkins – Exeter City

The Rams, Brentford and Bournemouth are reportedly ready to do battle over the Exeter City striker who bagged 9 goals this season, though the speculation ends there as to information over a potential deal. Given his young age and relative lack of experience, its hard to see Watkins as anything other than an u21s player that could back up the bench of the first team when needed. Having said that, the lack of knowledge of the youngster from opposition could leave Derby with a card up their sleave during matches that require that extra edge to win. – Football League World

Fan Reaction – None of any note given the speculation is at such a basic level. 

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Charlie Mulgrew – Celtic

Coming to the end of his contract at Celtic, Mulgrew is reportedly a target for Derby, Hull and Bournemouth. The versatile Scot has expressed his desire to stay at Celtic and new manager Brendan Rodgers has stated that he wants to keep him at Parkhead, however this speculation will not go away and the Rams have been heavily linked with signing the 30 year old on a free after contract negotiations haven’t manifested as Mulgrew was told. Given his versatility, its hard to know where Mulgrew would fit but it is apparent that he could be a replacement for an outgoing Chris Baird, assuming the Northern Irishman does indeed the iPro as many fans think he will. Mulgrew’s 130 appearances for The Bhoys will certainly endear him to Celtic fans, but it remains to be seen whether the Glasgow club will offer him the terms he is expecting. – Scottish Sun

Fan Reaction – Fairly positive, many see him as good cover and, despite his advancing age, a good signing given there would be no transfer fee involved. 

Outgoings

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Will Hughes to Newcastle United

The inevitable start of the rumours of starlet Will Hughes leaving the club, there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of substance to it, but its a rumour that won’t go away nonetheless. The Sun reported that Will Hughes, Lewis Dunk and Lewis Cook are on Benitez’s wishlist and will be subject to bids once the dust has settled as St James’ Park. His departure would leave Derby with a big hole in their midfield, as was seen during the 8 months that Hughes was injured for this season, and would be a double blow if they do indeed lose the youngster to a potential promotion rival. Derby would almost certainly step up a search for a replacement but would find it hard to find a talent such as Hughes that would bring themselves to the Championship. As yet, there is nothing in it and is just paper talk, but that could all change once the transfer season gets up and running.

Fan Reaction – Hugely negative. Many don’t believe the report due to its lack of detail but all agree it would take a huge bid before Derby let such a valuable talent and obvious prospect go, with many quoting £20 million at least before considering to accept a bid. The general reaction is summed up pretty well in this set of comments alone. 

As of yet, no more major outgoings have reared their heads, though with such a large squad in need of change, we can be sure that will change in the coming weeks.


Featured Image: All rights reserved by Kody platter

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