Derby County are stepping up their pursuit of January signings with Sheffield United legend Billy Sharp emerging as a target, as reported by the Sun (13 January, page 51), although they will have to pay £10 million to bring Fenerbahce ace Ferdi Kadioglu to Pride Park.
It is no surprise that the long-awaited arrival of a certain Wayne Rooney has resulted in a dramatic turnaround of Derby’s fortunes. But, if Phillip Cocu’s side want to make a late run for the play-off places in the final four months of an underwhelming season, the Rams need to make a couple of astute additions in attack.
Only two teams in the Championship have scored fewer goals than Derby and landing Sharp, one of the most prolific strikers in the division’s history, would go some way to solving a well-publicised Achilles heel.
The evergreen front man, who is valued at £6 million, netted 23 times as Sheffield United sealed their return to the big time as recently as last season.
But while Sharp seems happy to stay at Bramall Lane until the end of the season, a deal for Kadioglu could prove to be equally challenging.
Cocu himself admitted in December, speaking to Fanatik, that he was keen to reunite with a diminutive play-maker who caught his eye at Fenerbahce back in 2018. But with the Super Lig giants demanding £10 million for the Dutch U21 international, Derby would have to make Kadioglu their joint-most expensive player of all time (Fotospor).
With owner Mel Morris keen to cut costs at Pride Park, the chances of Derby shelling out £16 million on two January signings feel unlikely.
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