Derby County manager Steve McClaren is unlikely to stand in the way of on-loan Rams' goalkeeper Lee Grant joining Stoke City on a permanent basis during the January transfer window, according to The Stoke Sentinel.
The Potters moved to bring Grant to The Bet365 Stadium on a six-month loan deal during the final stages of the summer transfer window, as manager Mark Hughes sought to strengthen his goalkeeping ranks in the absence of number one Jack Butland, who continues to recover from the serious ankle injury he sustained on international duty in March.
With veteran goalkeeper Shay Given struggling to cut the mustard in the Stoke goal during the Potters' dismal start to the 2016/17 Premier League campaign, Hughes belatedly turned to Grant against West Brom in September in an attempt to help stem the flood of goals his porous back-four were leaking, and the English stopper has not looked back since.
Stoke have lost on just one occasion during the eight league games that Grant has started this season, conceding just five goals in the process to put their grim start to the season behind them and rise from the relegation zone into a more rosy 11th placed spot.
Although he was initially brought to the Bet365 Stadium as a backup option, Grant's phenomenal displays have been instrumental in the Potters' sharp ascent up the table, with the 33-year-old pulling off a catalogue of stupendous saves to preserve some invaluable points for his new employers.
Despite having no Premier League experience prior to his loan move to Stoke, Grant's performances have been of such a high calibre that Hughes now reportedly wants to sign the goalkeeper on a permanent basis, with The Sentinel claiming that the Welshman is extremely keen to tie up a deal during the January transfer window.
The report states that although Steve McClaren has replaced Nigel Pearson in the Derby hot-seat in the time that has passed since Grant left the club on loan, it is highly unlikely that the new Rams' incumbent will block the stopper's proposed move to Stoke, providing that the two clubs can reach a suitable agreement, with Scott Carson firmly established as the number one goalkeeper at Pride Park.
The move would represent somewhat of a fairy tale story for Grant, who has gone from being number two for a mid-table Championship side to starring in the English top flight in a matter of months, and a permanent deal would be just reward for the Englishman's impeccable displays over the past few months.