The 23-year-old winger scored 11 goals in 18 games last term for the Rams, spending the second half of the campaign with Steve McClaren’s side after failing to break through at Hull City.
The former England Under-21 international is still wanted by Derby, despite a change in management, with Paul Clement keen to tie him up on a permanent contract, as per the Derby Telegraph.
He has 12 months left on his contract, and Hull could look to sell him if the Rams approach with a sizeable offer for a player proven in the Championship.
Should a deal go through, Derby would be making a real statement of intent, with the aim to win promotion this time around clear for all to see.
The last two seasons ended in despair, and Ince would bring proven quality to the iPro Stadium, but his signing is a sign of the Rams' promotion credentials for a different reason.
Although Darren Bent has already been signed, he came on a free transfer with few other clubs in for him. A great signing at Championship level, with goals guaranteed, but that was Derby’s choice to sign him.
However, Ince would be arriving from Hull City, recently relegated from the top flight, who are looking to get back to the Premier League as soon as possible.
In Ince, not only would Derby be signing a great player, but they would be directly weakening a rival club with ambitions to also achieve promotion.
The signing would not only be a strong move from a playing standpoint, but it would send out a message from Derby that they are looking to go toe-to-toe with the recently relegated sides in the search for the Premier League.