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Wayne Rooney faces battle to hang on to Derby County duo amid transfer interest

By James Nursey

Wayne Rooney faces fresh headaches at Derby as rival clubs make moves for his stars after relegation to League One.

Boss Rooney and Rams players are in limbo while they wait for the club’s protracted takeover to be finalised. Veteran stopper Curtis Davies, 37, is out of contract and one of several players being chased. Davies played every game this term and scored four goals for County who finished 23rd after being deducted 21 points.

He is open to staying but is attracting interest from old club Hull and Bristol City in the Championship. Davies previously skippered Hull and represented them from 2013 to 2017 including scoring in the 2014 FA Cup final. His leadership qualities have attracted interest from the Robins, where boss Nigel Pearson wants to build a stronger dressing room mentality.

The south west club are also interested in 6ft 5in Oxford defender Elliott Moore, aged 25. Pearson has worked with Moore on two separate occasions with both Leicester and the Foxes’ sister club in Belgium, OH Leuven. At the Belgian club Pearson appointed Moore as captain before he joined the U’s in 2019 where he has gone on to make 124 appearances.

Championship interest in Davies comes as Derby administrators extended proposed new owner Chris Kirchner’s period of exclusivity until midnight on Saturday as the American battles to complete a deal. Kirchner, whose initial period of exclusivity expired at the weekend, is still keen to buy the club, which has been in administration since September.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Will Rooney stay at Derby? Let us know in the comments section

Experienced Derby defender Curtis Davies is a target for Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson (Getty Images)

American businessman Kirchner remains Quantuma's preferred bidder but the fact that Derby's Pride Park is still owned by former owner Mel Morris has been a sticking point, with Derby City Council also working on a deal to buy the ground to help bring the Rams out of administration. Quantuma said most of the outstanding issues delaying the takeover had now been worked through with Kirchner and that they believed an agreement over the stadium was close.

A statement from Quantuma said: "We consider that matters can be resolved in a short period of time and are grateful for the assistance of all stakeholders relating to the stadium. It should be noted that the company that owns the stadium is not in administration and therefore out of our control. We have therefore extended the period of exclusivity to midnight on Saturday, 14 May." Derby were docked 21 points over the course of the season for going into administration and breaches of EFL financial rules, which contributed to the club being relegated from the Championship and into the third tier for the first time since 1986.

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Dive Deeper:
What latest delay to Derby County takeover means for Wayne Rooney and club's future
The Rams have been in administration since last September and prospective owner Chris Kirchner is attempting to get a deal…
Ex-Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley keen to buy Derby County after renewing contact
The former Newcastle United owner is said to be keen on buying Derby County who remain in danger of going…
Hull City join Bristol City in transfer race for Derby County's experienced centre-back
The veteran defender is braced to leave Pride Park on a free transfer this summer following their relegation to League…
Derby County deal could be done soon, but stadium issues still not resolved
Administrators say former club owner Mel Morris 'shares everyone’s desire' to get a new owner in
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Bristol City defender confirms loan exit ahead of uncertain summer
The 24-year-old is likely to depart Ashton Gate this summer unless manager Nigel Pearson performs a U-turn on his decision…
Championship transfer rumours: Bournemouth want Stoke City talent, Newcastle stopper available
The latest Championship transfer news and rumours concerning Bristol City's rivals in the second tier
Get all your news in one place