West Brom and Bournemouth join race for Derby star ahead of January

Derby County's Tom Lawrence celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game.

Bournemouth and West Brom are interested in signing Derby attacking midfielder Tom Lawrence, per a report.

The 27-year-old has been a key player for the Rams since joining from Leicester in 2017. Playing 161 games in all competitions for his side, he’s scored 28 goals. Lawrence has provided standout performances at Pride Park for many seasons. His attacking threat and vision are qualities that could improve any side in the Championship.

Following another points deduction, Wayne Rooney’s side are now preparing for life in League One next year. Languishing at the bottom of the table with -3 points, they’re now 18 points adrift of safety.

According to the Daily Mail, Derby are reluctantly willing to let their captain leave for free in the January transfer window. He’s the highest earner at the club, reportedly being on £37,000 a week. The cash-strap side are looking to start shifting some of their big earners.

It would be a smart move for both Bournemouth and West Brom as Lawrence would enhance their chances of promotion back to the Premier League.

Boasting masses of Championship experience, Swansea and Stoke are also said to be interested in the Welsh international.

The fans’ favourite has featured in 15 league games for Derby this campaign, scoring twice. Lawrence will hope to add a few more to his tally ahead of January to ramp up the interest for his signature.

Takeover talks are still ongoing at the club but as the upcoming transfer window looms, Derby are still in a position of not being able to restrict their star players from leaving if they’re wanted by other teams.

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Wayne Rooney lauds Tom Lawrence

Derby boss Wayne Rooney has given huge praise to Tom Lawrence for his leadership qualities.

In a tough period for the Championship club, Rooney was quick to mention how impressed he’s been with his captain.

It was a shock for the Derby faithful when Lawrence was unveiled as their new skipper at the start of the season. However, he’s illustrated he was the right man for the job.

Rooney said: “I feel Tom Lawrence has been very good as captain.

“I wasn’t expecting him to be the biggest voice in the dressing room because people lead in different ways.

He could have scored more goals but his work ethic and the way he leads from the front has been excellent.”

Derby welcome table-toppers Bournemouth on Saturday to Pride Park. They’ll be looking to end their seven-game winless run despite it being a tough test.