Derby beat eight La Liga clubs and Celtic to land Atletico Madrid attacker Ivan Calero

Derby County beat eight La Liga clubs and Celtic to sign Atletico Madrid attacker Ivan Calero, according to the Rams head of football operations Chris Evans

Derby County's head of football operations Chris Evans revealed the Rams had shaken off stiff competition to land Atletico Madrid attacker Ivan Calero in the summer. 

Celebrating one year at the club, Derby County's transfer guru Chris Evans reflected on a successful first year which has seen the club's scouting network really grow and quality of player coming through the door increase. 

After landing George Thorne in the summer, following lengthy negotiations, it was cruel on both club and player when he was ruled out for at least 6 months with a ligament injury just days after signing. 

Evans, who was tasked with finding a replacement, used a connection he made earlier while signing promising attacker Ivan Calero to land one of Real Madrid's brightest talents in Omar Mascarell

Talking to the Derbyshire Telegraph, Evans reflected: 'We had just signed Ivan Calero, who was Madrid-based and played for Atletico Madrid. We had competition from eight La Liga clubs and Celtic but we signed the lad.

'That's where the relationship developed and when we lost George, I spoke to Gines Carvajal [Calero's agent].

'He had mentioned to me about Omar Mascarell and we then tracked him. We knew he had to be a good standard as he had played for the Real Madrid first team, as well as their B team.

 'We spent four days in Madrid, where we met with agents, lawyers and the chief executive of Real Madrid - and we managed to get the deal over the line.' 

The two Spaniards - Omar Mascarell and Ivan Calero - have both made promising starts in the East Midlands and both look likely to grow into the first-team picture more as the season goes on. 

Mascarell, who had been considered back-up to John Eustace, has started in Derby's last three games, helping the Rams score nine goals in the process. 

In his last game, the Spaniard hit a sweetly struck free-kick at a perfect speed and height for Ryan Shotton to net the opener against Wolves. He also played a part in the build up to three other goals in the match which saw Derby County win 5-0 and go back to the top of the table. 

As for Calero, the interest from clubs in Spain's top flight and Celtic would have been expected. Afterall, he had a phenomenal scoring record at youth level and had captained the Spanish U20 side to Silverware.

Derby, through sheer persistence and desire, landed the player and he has  already gone on to make his debut for the club, scoring the winning goal in the process. 

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