Derby County Make Last-Ditch Attempt To Sign Striker

Derby County have made contact with Sheffield Wednesday over the potential signing of strikers Michael Smith and Lee Gregory, according to The Sheffield Star.

The Rams are hoping to end their two-year stay in League One this season and are currently in a four-way tussle to secure one of the two automatic promotion spots. There is just three points separating league leaders Portsmouth and Derby in fourth, with Bolton Wanderers and Peterborough United sandwiched in-between.

Paul Warne is keen to add to his squad before the transfer window closes on Thursday and it appears as if the attacking positions are being prioritised. They have already landed Charlton Athletic winger Corey Blackett-Taylor on loan this month, with the view to a permanent move at the end of the season.

Derby have been linked to a number of strikers in recent weeks, although now appear to be exploring short-term options. According to The Sheffield Star, the East Midlands outfit are keen on Sheffield Wednesday duo Michael Smith and Lee Gregory. It is claimed that they are not looking for a deal to bring both of them to Pride Park but are willing to take ‘one or the other’.

The Owls are happy to let both leave this month, although would prefer a permanent transfer for the 32-year-old Smith. Derby, however, are exploring a loan. In which case, this opens up an opportunity for 35-year-old veteran Gregory, who will be allowed to depart on a temporary deal, as long as they receive a contribution to his wages.

Having joined the club from Stoke City in 2021, the attacker has hit 29 goals in 101 appearances for the South Yorkshire club but has only featured once since the end of October.

The former Millwall striker is attracting interest from a number of clubs in League One, as well as one from League Two. However, a move to the fourth tier is not thought to be on the cards.

Derby travel to Charlton on Saturday looking to heap further pressure on the teams above them. The Addicks are in the midst of a dreadful run of form and their winless run stretched to 13 games following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Blackpool.

Writer’s View

Derby have made no secret of their desire to bring in a striker this month as they still look to recoup the goals lost by David McGoldrick’s departure in the summer. Despite that, James Collins has hit the back of the net 13 times and they are one of the division’s top scorers with 52 goals in 29 games.

Both Lee Gregory and Michael Smith are experienced players who would definitely offer a quality short-term option for the Rams, whilst also potentially suiting their financial constraints. Paul Warne will be eager to get this done.


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