New Derby County boss Phillip Cocu worked with Skrtel at Fenerbahce but will they really reunite in the Championship at Pride Park?

Phillip Cocu is hoping to make a real statement at Derby County by bringing Martin Skrtel back to English football from Fenerbahce, according to Turkish publication Star.

The Rams lost Frank Lampard after just one season but, whisper it, there might be a better manager in the Pride Park dugout these days. Unlike the new Chelsea boss, Cocu has plenty of experience in management and his CV is already very impressive.

A Barcelona and Holland legend from his playing days, the 48-year-old has since lifted six trophies in charge of PSV Eindhoven, including three Eredivisie titles in just four years at the helm.

But, according to Star, Cocu wants to reunite with a player he worked with during that ill-fated spell at Feyenoord, rather than one of his former PSV stars.

The Dutchman lasted just 16 games in Istanbul but 34-year-old Skrtel obviously still left a positive impression. The former Liverpool defender, who still captains Slovakia even at his advanced age, is a free agent after his contract expired on July 1.

Star believes that the former Anfield hero could replace Fikayo Tomori, who returned to parent club Chelsea after winning Derby’s Player of the Year award last season.

Even on a free, Skrtel won’t come cheap due to his hefty wages but the big-game experience he could bring to Pride Park might be absolutely priceless.

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