Both Sunderland and Newcastle are looking to place a new man in charge and it is thought that the North East duo are both interested in McClaren.
The former England manager has done a fine job with Derby, and Newcastle and Sunderland have both reportedly put him on their short-list of targets.
Derby will not allow him to leave without a fight, though, and they will want a sizable compensation package to allow any club to speak with McClaren.
What would the impact of McClaren leaving be for Derby?
Regardless of what league Derby are in at the end of this season, losing McClaren would be a major blow.
Derby have gone from a club who consistently were finishing in mid-table in England's second tier, to one of the most dangerous sides outside the Premier League.
McClaren has got them playing entertaining, free-flowing, attacking football and has helped develop some of the side's brighter prospects.
If they were to lose McClaren it would be a major set-back and, as a result, it is no surprise that they are so reluctant to allow Newcastle and Sunderland to speak to him.