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Wayne Rooney faces a struggle to hold on to the Derby County duo amid transfer interests

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EXCLUSIVE: Derby’s relegation from the Championship has presented boss Wayne Rooney with an uphill battle to hold on to two of his key players, with Bristol City poised to pounce

Wayne Rooney was appointed Derby manager in January 2021 following the sacking of Phillip Cocu
Wayne Rooney was appointed Derby manager in January 2021 following the sacking of Phillip Cocu

Wayne Rooney faces a new headache in the derby as rival clubs make moves for his stars after being relegated to League One.

Boss Rooney and Rams players are left in limbo as they wait for the club’s protracted takeover to be completed. Veteran stopper Curtis Davies, 37, is out of contract and is one of several players being pursued. Davies played every game that season and scored four goals for County, who finished 23rd after having 21 points deducted.

He is open to staying but is attracting interest in the Championship from old clubs Hull and Bristol City. Davies previously captained Hull and represented them from 2013 to 2017, including a goal in the 2014 FA Cup final. His leadership qualities have attracted interest from the Robins, where boss Nigel Pearson is looking to develop a stronger dressing room mentality.

The South West club are also interested in 25-year-old Oxford defender Elliott Moore, who is 25. Pearson has worked with Moore on two separate occasions, both at Leicester and at the Foxes’ sister club in Belgium, OH Leuven. At the Belgian club, Pearson captained Moore before joining the U’s in 2019, where he made 124 appearances.

Championship interest in Davies comes as Derby administrators extended proposed new owner Chris Kirchner’s exclusivity period until midnight on Saturday, while the Americans struggled to finalize a deal. Kirchner, whose initial exclusivity expired at the weekend, wants to continue buying the club, which has been under administration since September.

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Veteran Derby defender Curtis Davies is a target for Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson

American businessman Kirchner remains Quantuma’s preferred bidder, but the fact that Derby’s Pride Park is still owned by former owner Mel Morris was a sticking point as Derby City Council is also working on a deal to buy the property to house the Rams get out of administration. Quantuma said most of the outstanding issues delaying the acquisition have now been worked out with Kirchner and they believe an agreement on the stadium is near.

A statement from Quantuma said: “We believe that matters can be resolved in a short time and are grateful for the support of all stakeholders regarding the stadium. It should be noted that the company that owns the stadium is non-administrative and therefore beyond our control. We have therefore extended the exclusivity period until midnight on Saturday 14 May.” Derby were docked 21 points over the course of the season for going into administration and breaching EFL financial rules, which helped the Club relegated from the Championship and to the Third Division for the first time since 1986.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/wayne-rooney-derby-battle-transfers-26935122 Wayne Rooney faces a struggle to hold on to the Derby County duo amid transfer interests

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