Derby have reportedly already held talks with Shinnie whose contract at Aberdeen expires this summer, but a pre-contract can’t be signed at this stage preventing Derby from making their first signing ahead of next season.
The East Midlands club, among others, have been in the headlines in recent months after Birmingham City received a nine-point deduction for falling foul of the FFP rules.
Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson is said to be demanding an investigation into Derby’s activities, weeks after the club announced a profit over the past year following the sale of Pride Park to owner Mel Morris.
All this has come about after Derby’s failed attempts to reach the Premier League amid some heavy spending. With Morris taking over in 2015, many of his initial buys are out of contract this summer.
It means manager Frank Lampard has a squad rebuilding job on his hands regardless of what division Derby play in next season. The club are currently eighth in the Championship table, two points off the top six.
The midfield area is of particular concern, and Shinnie would fill the role having impressed heavily up in the Scotland.
The 27-year-old is widely regarded as one of Scotland’s better players. Signing him on a free could be quite a coup for the Rams as the likes of Bradley Johnson and Craig Bryson seem set to leave a big void to fill.