Derby County have been dealt a major blow in their bid to keep Lee Buchanan at Pride Park this summer.
What’s the talk?
That’s according to a claim made by Alan Nixon, with The Sun journalist revealing in a post on Twitter that Nottingham Forest have made a fresh bid for the Derby County left-back, although Wayne Rooney’s side are thought to have rejected the proposal.
It was reported by The Athletic earlier this week that the 20-year-old is top of Chirs Hughton’s list of transfer targets this summer, with the Reds having already seen one offer knocked back for the defender by their rivals.
However, it is not only Forest thought to be interested in a move for the Rams youngster, with Arsenal and Celtic both reported to be keeping a close eye on the situation of the England U21 international.
Although, it would very much appear as if Hughton’s side are leading the race Buchanan, with Nixon stating: “Forest. New and improved bid for Lee Buchanan. Derby said no. Latest package definitely better, but not yet enough.”
Is there any reason Derby should sell Buchanan to Forest?
Morris must not sell
While Nixon does not mention the amount of money Forest have offered for Buchanan, it would be naive to think that Mel Morris is not considering the idea of cashing in on the left-back this summer.
Indeed, the Rams are in the midst of what could well be the club’s biggest financial crisis in their history, while the £2.25m-rated defender is just about to enter the final year of his current contract at Pride Park.
However, despite these facts, Morris must ensure that he resists all temptation to sanction the sale of the 20-year-old this summer, not only as the youngster will have a major role to play in Wayne Rooney’s side next season – with the 35-year-old desperately lacking depth all over the pitch – but also because selling one of the club’s most promising talents to their fiercest of rivals would be seen as an unforgivable act by the Derby faithful.
As such, while the argument could be made that, should Arsenal or Celtic come in with an offer that the club’s owner simply cannot refuse, Buchanan’s departure could actually help sustain the club in the long term, if it is Forest who have an offer accepted for the Englishman this summer – no matter how good it may be for the club’s financial health – Morris will have made a grave error, and one that would quite rightly leave their fans fuming.