Derby County's focus switched to bolstering strike force
DERBY County's sights now switch to the task of adding a striker to the squad.
Defender Richard Keogh's arrival from Coventry City takes the number of summer signings to three following the capture of wide midfielders Michael Jacobs and Paul Coutts.
Young centre-forward Callum Ball has moved to Coventry on a season-long loan as part of the Keogh deal and Steve Davies, joint leading scorer last season, is still likely to depart before the Championship campaign kicks off on August 18.
With that in mind, manager Nigel Clough would like to bolster the attack with a new face.
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Derby are keen on Wigan Athletic's front man Conor Sammon, who they would like to bring to Pride Park on a long-term loan.
The Rams missed out on Sammon 18 months ago when he move from Kilmarnock to Wigan but he has struggled for starts at the Premier League club.
When asked for the latest on Sammon, Clough said: "It is no secret we would like to bring a striker in. We liked him (Sammon) 18 months ago when he came down from Scotland but we are very much in Wigan's hands."
Sammon insists he has heard nothing about a possible loan move to Derby and is fully focused on trying to break into the Wigan team.
"As far as I'm concerned, I'm just totally focused on playing for Wigan, trying to get more starts and putting myself in contention," he said.
"I'm really looking forward to the season. It's a new start, a new slate."
Derby's current options up front are Davies, Nathan Tyson, Theo Robinson, Jamie Ward and 16-year-old Mason Bennett.
"We have lost Callum, so we could do with one coming in," said Clough.
"We will also see how the Steven Davies situation resolves itself because that would leave us with Nathan, Theo, Jamie Ward, who might play a more central role this season, and also Mason Bennett.
"We are OK up there but it would be nice to get that extra one in.
"We've been concentrating all our efforts on getting Richard Keogh in the building in the last few days and that has taken a great deal of effort on everybody's part from the owners down."
Davies has been made available for transfer after he turned down the offer of a new contract.
He has a year to run on his current deal.
Ipswich remain keen on signing him but the two clubs have yet to agree on a fee.
Clough said they were not too far apart, adding: "There is a bit of talking going on and we await developments on that one."
Ipswich boss Paul Jewell signed Davies when manager at Derby.
"I think he's a good player but there are a number of good players and we could be here all night talking about speculation," said Jewell, who has asked about the possibility of taking West Ham United striker Sam Baldock on a season-long loan, with a view to a permanent deal.
Jewell is hopeful of making a fourth summer signing sooner rather than later, saying he had "a few things going on".
Regarding Davies, Jewell added: "We have not made a bid but I spoke to Nigel Clough on Wednesday to say we do have other targets."
Meanwhile, Davies is training with Derby.
Clough says the uncertainty over Davies' future is not an ideal situation but added: "We have had no problems with him in training.
"He has worked as hard as the rest of the players and he is looking in pretty good shape."