Derby County are keen to get rid of Jacob Butterfield but will he join the Rams’ Championship rivals Blackburn Rovers?
Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has confirmed to the Lancashire Telegraph that Jacob Butterfield is training with the Championship outfit as his Derby County exit edges closer.
Derby and Blackburn have already done business for one midfielder this summer. Former £6 million record signing Bradley Johnson left Pride Park for Ewood Park last week – and Butterfield could be about to follow in his footsteps.
Like Johnson, Butterfield cost a bomb when he arrived in the East Midlands. Derby paid an eye-watering £5 million for a one-time Huddersfield Town and Middlesbrough midfielder back in 2015.
And they haven’t had much back for their investment. Butterfield has played just three league games for The Rams in the last two seasons.
The Derby Telegraph reported in June that the club now coached by Phillip Cocu could even release Butterfield with a year remaining on his contract.
That could play right into the hands of Mowbray and Blackburn.
“We’ve got a few players that I know of, Jacob Butterfield is training with us at the moment as well,” said Mowbray, who coached the 29-year-old for a brief spell at Boro in 2013.
“We’ll see how the week goes and then we’ll have chats and see what we think about it at the end of it. As we move towards the start of the season we need to hone in on our XI and our team.”
After spending the second half of last season on loan at Bradford City in League One, Butterfield would surely jump at the chance to retain his Championship status at Blackburn.
But with Craig Bryson, Mason Mount and Johnson leaving already, Cocu will find himself under pressure to bring a few new midfielders in at Derby.