Derby County miss out as Luton Town reportedly agree £1.5m deal for Simona Sluga

Croatia's goalkeeper Simon Sluga (2nd L) jumps to block the ball during a group stage football match between Croatia and New Zealand at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup at the Bursa Ataturk...

Derby County and Luton Town have been linked with goalkeeper Simona Sluga.

Croatia's goalkeeper Simon Sluga (2nd L) jumps to block the ball during a group stage football match between Croatia and New Zealand at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup at the Bursa Ataturk...

According to a report by Rijeka Danas, Luton Town have agreed a deal for Simona Sluga worth around £1.5 million and the goalkeeper is in England undergoing a medical at the club.

Luton appear to have fended off competition from several clubs for his signature. A report in Goal at the end of May claimed Norwich City, Sheffield United and Derby County were among his suitors.

Derby in particular are likely in the market for a new goalkeeper. Scott Carson was dropped from first-team duties last season due to a loss of form and injuries, while replacement Kelle Roos remains inexperienced.

 

Carson only has one year left on his Derby deal. It seems the Rams would benefit more from trying to sell him this summer rather than allowing him to potentially leave on a free in 12 months’ time.

Sluga, 26, has been impressive for HNK Rijeka and earned a call-up to the Croatia national team this summer. His side won the Croatian Cup final last year, with Sluga saving a penalty in the final.

The reported £1.5 million deal will be among Luton’s highest ever transfer fees spent. The Hatters have money to spend this summer following the sales of Justin James and Jack Stacey to the Premier League.

Simon Sluga of HNK Rijeka directs his defense during the UEFA Europa League group D match between AC Milan and HNK Rijeka at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on September 28, 2017 in Milan, Italy.

Luton will be hoping Sluga can help them consolidate in the Championship this season following their promotion from League One last season.

Derby, meanwhile, have been quiet in the market so far having only signed Kieran Dowell on loan. The Rams have plenty of holes to plug from last season, and new manager Phillip Cocu may have his own targets in mind.

AC Milan midfielders Gabriel Paletta (L) and Cristian Zapatta (C) jump for the ball with Rijeka's goalkepper Simon Sluga (yellow jersey) during the UEFA Europa League Group D football...

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