Rooney boosts Derby squad with deals for veteran defender, wily striker

Derby County's Wayne Rooney (left) shake hands with Reading's Sam Baldock, Sky Bet Championship

Derby have added more depth and experience to their squad by securing the signings of experienced duo Phil Jagielka and Sam Baldock on short-term contracts.

The pair spent the vast majority of pre-season training with Wayne Rooney’s squad. Indeed, they both featured in a number of the Rams’ friendly fixtures.

Now the Rams have added the pair to their squad on deals until January 2022. The situation will be reviewed then over a possible extension.

Former England defender Jagielka, 39, began his career at Sheffield United. He then moved to Everton in 2007, where he racked up almost 400 appearances for the Toffees. He then returned to the Blades in 2019, but was released upon relegation.

Striker Baldock, 32, started out at MK Dons. He has also represented West Ham, Bristol City, Brighton and Reading.

Jagielka and Baldock could both make their debuts in Wednesday’s clash at Hull on Wednesday.

Due to their transfer embargo, the Rams can only sign players as free agents to short-term deals or on loan deals.

City striker next in Rooney sights

Derby are next turning their attention to a deal for Manchester City’s teenage striker Liam Delap.

The 18-year-old – son of Stoke old boy Rory – is being tipped to leave the Etihad on loan this summer.

The likes of Millwall, Middlesbrough, Birmingham City and West Brom have also been linked with Delap.

Liam Delap TEAMtalk

City’s under-23 coach, Brian Barry-Murphy, told the Manchester Evening News: “Liam’s dad is a very good friend of mine.

“I think Rory’s trying to stay out of it, so I was going to follow suit. I know Liam’s recovering from injury at the moment.

“That will be important for him, one of a few setbacks he’s had in the last few months.

“Obviously his progress is there for all to see and I presume he’s very much part of the first-team plans and that’s how he progresses in the future.”

Discussing his immediate future in an interview with Sky Sports, Delap said: “Obviously, it’s up to the club. I think what’s happened at the club so far has been amazing for me and I trust them to make the right decision.”