Derby ready move for £13m Premier League defender

Harry McMullen

Derby County have revealed plans to financially back boss Phillip Cocu in January – with Leicester defender Filip Benkovic is said to be top of the watch list at Pride Park.

According to the Telegraph, Phillip Cocu has been told he will be financially backed in January, as the Rams look to boost their lacklustre squad following a calamitous first half to the season.

The Dutch manager has admitted interest in signing the Leicester defender Filip Benkovic on a loan deal until the end of the season.

The 22-year-old defender was signed by Leicester in August 2018 for a fee of £13m but is yet to make an appearance in the first-team under Brendan Rodgers this season.

Benkovic made his international debut for Croatia earlier in the year following a successful loan spell with Celtic.

The Croat plays predominantly as a centre-back, a position which is top of the priority list at Pride Park following the controversial long-term injury and dismissal of captain Richard Keogh .

Keogh was involved in a car crash involving team-mates Mason Bennett and Tom Lawrence, Bennett and Lawrence were both charged with drink-driving after the incident.

Reports suggest the board at Derby have a lot of sympathy for Cocu after inheriting the squad weeks before the start of the season after the departure of Frank Lampard – along with the Lawrence-Bennett fiasco.



Cocu’s squad will also receive a huge boost in January when England and Manchester United all time top scorer Wayne Rooney is eligible to play for the Rams.

Rooney moved from MLS club D.C United in the summer as a player-coach but is only eligible to play from January 1.

Derby are currently sat 17th in the league, only picking up two points from their last five fixtures.

The Rams have a tough, but winnable, series of games coming up playing three teams beneath them in the table in Wigan, Charlton and Barnsley.