Maikel Kieftenbeld would have expected to be wearing the white of Derby rather than the blue of Birmingham with just a few weeks before Christmas.
As reported by the Birmingham Mail, The Rams had agreed a £300,000 deal to bring the midfielder to Pride Park on transfer deadline day. A week later, however, Kieftenbeld was back at St Andrews after the EFL refused to ratify the deal as the paperwork was not completed in time.
Though this does not mean that Derby have missed their one and only chance to sign the 27-year-old Dutchman. HITC sources told us in November that The Rams were keen to renew their interest in Kieftenbeld in January with manager Gary Rowett, who brought him to Birmingham from Groningen in 2015, eyeing up a reunion at Pride Park.
Nonetheless, it seems far from certain that Kieftenbeld will leave St Andrews at last in January. It is understood that Birmingham will offer a new contract to the midfielder, whose current deal expires at the end of the season – and the former Dutch Under-21 ace would consider all his options.
“If Birmingham made me an offer I would listen to it because they’ve always been good to me and I like to play here,” he said in quotes reported by The Birmingham Mail.
Kieftenbeld struggled to win over Harry Redknapp but has been restored to the side since Steve Cotterill took over in October, his commanding performances in central midfield leading to fans clamouring for him to stay.
There is a very real chance, then, that Rowett could be left disappointed again. Those pesky fax machines.