Championship Side Explores Swap Deal In Pursuit Of Derby County Star

Bristol City have held negotiations with Derby County over midfielder Jason Knight in a deal that could also involve wing-back Kane Wilson, according to reporter John Percy via Twitter.

It is understood that the Republic of Ireland international has not travelled for the Rams’ pre-season camp in Spain following the Championship outfit putting in a bid of £2m for the midfielder. The 22-year-old is also approaching the last 12 months of his contract at Pride Park, with a medical scheduled at Ashton Gate in the coming days.

Simultaneously, 23-year-old Wilson has been discussed in negotiations to potentially join Paul Warne’s camp as Derby gear up for a second season in League One.

Who is Jason Knight?

Jason Knight started his career in Ireland with Cabinteely when he was four years old before being signed by Derby County at the age of 16.

The versatile midfielder was a part of Derby County’s U18 Premier League title success in the 18/19 season, in a campaign which saw him named as an unused substitute during County’s play-off second leg against Leeds United and the final against Aston Villa at Wembley.

During the 2019/20 season, Knight went on to make his professional debut under Phillip Cocu against Huddersfield Town, ahead of a breakthrough campaign which saw the midfielder go on to make 35 appearances, scoring six goals as Derby finished 10th in the Championship.

After the sacking of Phillip Cocu, the Irishman captained the club in Wayne Rooney’s first game as manager against Rotherham United. In a season which saw the Rams avoid relegation by a point on the final day, Knight went on to make 45 appearances for the club that season.

The midfielder, now a first-team regular, scored twice in 39 appearances as Derby were subsequently relegated under Wayne Rooney after the club entered administration, receiving a 21-point deduction. The Irishman made his 100th appearance for the club in a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United.

Following relegation, the 22-year-old went on to make 47 appearances for the Rams in the 22/23 season, scoring three goals as Derby narrowly missed out on a play-off place on the final day following defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

The Dublin-born midfielder has also represented the Republic of Ireland national team at every youth level, making his first-team debut against Bulgaria in 2020.

Who is Kane Wilson?

Kane Wilson came through the ranks at West Bromwich Albion, enjoying loan spells at Exeter City, Walsall and Tranmere Rovers, before making a permanent switch to Forest Green Rovers in 2020. The right-back caught the eye, making 82 appearances and registering 13 assists in the 2021/22 season as Rob Edwards’ side won the League Two title.

Wilson then moved on to Ashton Gate that summer, only making five appearances for the Robins since signing for the club.

What has been said?

Derby County boss and three-time promotion-winning manager Paul Warne has stated that he expects midfielder Knight to depart the club in an interview with Derbyshire Live.

“I don’t foresee him being here. That’s the honest truth,” said Rams boss Warne.

“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.”

Writer’s View

This is a move that makes sense for both parties.

Derby will be delighted to receive £2m for a player with 12 months remaining on his contract. Meanwhile, Bristol City are signing a reliable player that is proven in the second tier, making over 100 appearances at the level at the age of 22. The player also has potential for sell-on value in the future.

Possibly going in the other direction, Derby will be potentially receiving a more than capable addition at right wing-back in Kane Wilson, who has a point to prove following a move to Bristol City that never quite got going.

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