The 19-year old has reportedly been targeted by Chelsea and Liverpool, along with a host of other top flight clubs, over the past year, having been an important component of the team that reached the Championship play-off final.
Although the Rams failed to achieve promotion at the final hurdle, Hughes was still awarded a spot in the PFA Championship Team of the Year, and speculation has only intensified about his future.
The England youth midfielder - who was also scouted by Barcelona as a 17-year old - has made 79 appearances for the Rams since making his debut in 2011, cementing his reputation as one of the most technically gifted English youth players.
Praised for his play-making ability by Stuart Pearce, it was Pearce who gave Hughes his debut for the England Under-21's - as a 17-year old.
With the interest from the Premier League, along with Derby's failure to achieve promotion, many thought that Hughes would be leaving this summer, but the club revealed that they have secured their starlet on a long-term deal.
The deal, which sees Hughes tied to Derby until 2018, not only deters the interest from the Premier League giants tracking his progress, but also proves that Derby intend to reach the top flight as soon as possible. Jeff Hendrick and Craig Forsyth have also agreed four-year deals, whilst Jake Buxton has penned a three-year extension, as head coach Steve McClaren prepares for the upcoming Championship season.
Speaking to the official Derby County website, the former England boss revealed his pleasure at Hughes' contract extension, complimenting the players talent in the process.
“We’re pleased that Will has decided to extend his contract with Derby County for the next four years," he said.
“He is promising young talent and we’re looking forward to working with him over the next few years to help continue his development.”
Hughes ended the 2013/14 campaign having made 48 first-team appearances in the process of being named the Sammy Crooks Young Player of the Year.