Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Friday January 5 2007
Rams in the transfer window
The signing of David Jones from Manchester United is only the start of coming`s and goings at Pride Park.
Rams coach Billy Davies is keen to boost his squad further before the end of the month. He said: "The fans obviously know we have got intent in our long-term plan and we will certainly try and bring the best players we can to Derby County, under the right financial constraints.
"It is important we bring in players such as David Jones, who have that quality, and we will continue to try and build on that.
"It has been non-stop this week as you might imagine but that will be the case at every club in the country.
"We have got some good targets in mind and would expect to have three or four new faces in between now and the end of the transfer window.
"We have always talked too about the possibility of one or two leaving, so there is a lot to look forward to and it will be a case of 'watch this space'."
Davies is hoping to tie up Jon Stead`s signature from Sunderland during the transfer window, but at present no deal has been done. Davies said: "There is nothing new to report on the situations of Stead and Lewin Nyatanga. We have to start talking to see if something can be done.'
Stead has returned to the North-East after the New Years Eve clash at Preston and Sunderland boss Roy Keane says loan players returning will bolster his squad but, at the same time, he is open to offers. Stead joined Sunderland from Blackburn Rovers for £1.8m in June 2005, so a figure near £1m would be the asking price.
Nyatanga is back training with the Rams, still waiting to find out where his future lies. The 18-year-old centre-back was pressed into service at left-back during his time at the Stadium of Light, but in his final appearance in the win at Leicester he played at centre-back where he looked more assured. Does he have a future at the Rams, only time will tell? He became the youngest ever player capped for Wales last year, and was voted the Welsh Young player of the Year in 2006. It looks like Davies has signed a gem with the form of Dean Leacock over recent weeks, but with the ageing Darren Moore (32) and Michael Johnson (33), I believe there is a spot in the Rams line-up for the youngster, unless Davies has his eye on another target?
Other news from the Rams camp, Lionel Ainsworth has returned to Derby following his loan spell at Bournemouth, where the 19-year-old striker made nine appearances, three of them starts. Other Rams players on loan out of Pride Park are likely to stay at their clubs. Nathan Doyle and Lee Holmes are expected to have there loan stay at Bradford City extended, although Holmes is injured at present with an ankle injury.
One of Derby`s loan players Arturo Lupoli is reportedly on the verge of joining Serie A giants AC Milan and Inter Milan. The player`s agent Luca Pasqualin, said the Milan clubs were interested in recruiting the Italy Under-21 player in January. The 19-year-old striker has been used sparingly by Davies this campaign, and the Rams have an agreement with Arsenal to keep Lupoli until the end of the season. His contract expires at the end of the season with the Gunners and his agent said: "He is liked by Torino, Napoli and Fiorentina, but Inter and Milan have registered their interest in the last few days.
"Although he is very young, his contract is set to expire because the player wants to go home, despite Arsenal`s interest in renewing his contract.
"As a result, they are now ready to sell him in January for a small fee rather than losing him for nothing at the end of the campaign.
"The only obstacle is that Derby County, who signed him on loan until June, are still counting on his services." So as Billy said 'watch this space`.
The Rams have been linked with two strikers over the past week. One is Hull City`s Craig Fagan.
Fagan is out of contract in the summer and is believed to be a target by the Rams and a few other clubs.
Tigers chairman Adam Pearson said: 'We are talking to Craig's agent and we have had no formal offers.
'We are trying to give Craig the right incentives and assurances to make him want to stay at this club.'
Another rumour in the press has Freddy Eastwood joining the Rams from Championship strugglers Southend. A transfer fee of £2.5m has been quoted but Davies has denied the rumours. He made two, £1m, official approaches for Eastwood at the start of the season which was turned down by the Roots Hall outfit
Date:Friday January 5 2007
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