Derby County transfer rumours: Rams eyeing up summer swoop for Shane Duffy

Derby County weighing up summer move for Celtic loanee Shane Duffy

After a woeful run of form in the Championship, Derby County will be aiming to avoid relegation to League One this weekend in their crunch clash with Sheffield Wednesday.

The Rams were handed somewhat of a reprieve earlier this week as Rotherham United missed out on the opportunity to move level on points with them after being held to a draw by Luton Town.

However, if Derby suffer yet another defeat at Pride Park on Saturday, they will allow either Wednesday or Rotherham to clinch survival at their expense.

Whilst manager Wayne Rooney's primary focus in the coming days will be to prepare his side for their showdown with the owls, he may already be looking at ways to bolster his squad ahead of the upcoming transfer window if recent reports are anything to go by.

According to Football Insider, Derby are understood to be interested in the possibility of signing Shane Duffy from Brighton & Hove Albion this summer following the expiry of his loan deal at Celtic.

The defender, who has featured on 42 occasions at international level for Republic of Ireland, has experienced a difficult campaign to date with the Bhoys since joining them on a temporary basis last year.

Due to the presence of Kristoffer Ajer, Stephen Welsh and Christopher Jullien, Duffy has been limited to 18 league appearances for a Celtic side who have been no match for arch-rivals Rangers this season.

Any potential loan deal involving Duffy will depend on whether Derby are able to retain their second-tier status on Saturday.

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Providing that Derby can avoid relegation this weekend, this could turn out be an incredibly shrewd move by Rooney.

Whilst Duffy has lacked consistency at times this season for Celtic, he has still managed to average an impressive WhoScored rating of 7.31 in the Scottish Premiership.

Given that only Krystian Bielik has registered a better rating than this in the Championship, it could be argued that the Brighton man may be able to take the club to new heights next season.

Furthermore, when you consider that Matt Clarke and George Edmundson are both set to leave Pride Park when their loan deals expire later this month, the Rams will be short of options at centre-back heading into the upcoming campaign.

Therefore, signing a player who has featured on 132 occasions at Championship level during his career is surely a no-brainer for Rooney as Duffy knows exactly what it takes to thrive in this division.

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