Derby County Resigned To Losing Key Figure

Derby County manager Paul Warne expects to lose key midfield man Jason Knight amid interest from several Championship clubs, reports The Stoke Sentinel.

As he prepares his side for the new League One season, Paul Warne doesn’t believe that his side can hold on to Knight and is expecting to receive bids from interested sides such as Stoke City and Bristol City for the Republic of Ireland international. 

Who is Jason Knight?

Jason Knight has become a key member of the Derby team since making his debut in the 2019-20 season. The young Irishman made 38 League One appearances in 2022-23 as County lost out to Peterborough United for the final playoff spot.

Since making his international debut almost three years ago, Knight has a total of 20 caps and has scored once in a friendly against Andorra.

The Dubliner has played over 150 times for The Rams, gaining valuable experience in the Championship as well as last season in League One. 

Who is interested?

Alongside the reported Stoke interest, The Bristol Post has said that Bristol City and Ipswich Town are chasing the Irishman. 

City had two bids for the midfield man rejected last month, the second worth a reported £1.6 million, as Derby looks to get close to £2 million for their young asset. The Robins are yet to go back with a third bid and are instead taking their time and weighing up their options. 

The Robins are said to have held initial talks with representatives of the player so would appear to be in pole position but have yet to meet Derby’s valuation. 

What’s been said?

Manager Paul Warne has spoken honestly about the situation surrounding his player, telling Derbyshire Live, “I don’t foresee him being here. That’s the honest truth. I know there’s a lot of clubs who have a massive interest in him, and he’s got a year left on his contract.”

He added, “I’ve spoken to Knighty a couple of times. He isn’t like knocking on my door to leave. But I am aware of interest from a couple of Championship clubs. I am aware of bids. I am aware of what the player has been offered. I am aware of everything. So the common sense of my brain is being honest – I can see Knighty leaving. I don’t want him to leave from a football manager’s point of view. Why would I?”

When asked about the bids the club had already received, Warne replied, “I don’t think the offers that we’ve had for him have been offensive and they’re not way off. I think it’s probably the nicest way to put it, but probably not as strong as we would consider his value to be.”

Writer’s View

Derby fans may have allowed themselves to believe that one of their key men would be staying at the football club but his exit now seems inevitable. 

The club have already triggered a one-year extension on the player’s contract and could lose him next summer with only a compensation fee payable. The Rams will have that in their minds as they look for a fee of around £2 million. 

A fee of that size at League One level will allow The Rams to bring in quality players to replace Knight and add in other areas too. For the club that is eventually successful in getting his signature, they will be signing a young player with sell-on value who has time to develop and improve further but who has already played over 100 Championship games and is a regular at international level. Whilst Derby will loathe losing the player, this deal looks like it will work for all parties involved.

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