Report: Newcastle chase Derby captain Richard Keogh, West Brom and Sunderland also interested

Derby County West Stand

The Republic of Ireland international has been at the Rams for three years, and made the Championship Team of the Year recently.

Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren is set to return to former club Derby County to try and recruit Rams captain Richard Keogh for £4 million, according to the Guardian, though it is a move that is fraught with plenty of ifs and buts.

The Guardian report states that Derby are looking to bring Jason Shackell into the club from Burnley before they open up to any sale of their skipper, who has also played for Bristol City and Coventry.

Aside from the Magpies relying on another deal to go through before they can realistically sign Keogh, the Guardian also say that West Brom and Sunderland are tracking the player, who was voted into the Championship Team of the Year last season.

On top of that, the Chronicle appeared to dampen Newcastle's interest in the centre back on Wednesday, leaving the route open to the Baggies and Black Cats.

Should McClaren move for the 28-year-old? 

Whether the Magpies are openly chasing Keogh or adopting a more covert strategy to his recruitment, a transfer approach would make a lot of sense considering McClaren's history with the player.

Defence was a big concern for Newcastle last season, with particular questions asked of Fabricio Coloccini's partner Mike Williamson.

The former Watford man was sent off late in the season in a game against Leicester, and interim boss John Carver turned on the 31-year-old, accusing him of being dismissed on purpose.

It remains to be seen what kind of role Williamson can expect next season, but reinforcements at the back would surely still be welcome.

McClaren will know what he can expect from Keogh, and will have the utmost faith that the Republic of Ireland international can come in and shore up the Magpies back line.

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