Derby County have sights on loan targets
DERBY County are eyeing two or three targets in the emergency loan window which opens next week.
The Rams have no plans to strengthen the squad ahead of the January transfer window closing at 11pm tonight.
"There will be nobody coming in before Thursday night but we will look at the next loan window," said manager Nigel Clough.
"We have got our eye on two or three to try and improve us next season.
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"So if there is a way of getting them in on loan for the rest of the season, we will try to do it.
"A 93-day loan gives us the chance to have a good look at them and them to have a good look at us before making a permament decision on them in the summer.
"That is how we have tried to use the loan window."
Clough has adopted the policy before, notably with Jamie Ward, Frank Fielding and Theo Robinson.
The trio arrived on loan in February 2011 before they completed permanent moves in the summer.
Derby are the only club in the Championship not to have made a loan signing this season.
Their last loan signing was a year ago when they took midfielder Tom Carroll from Tottenham Hotspur.
"We said we were going to rely on the lads in the squad or on the fringes of the squad," said Clough.
"We have said all along that the youngsters will get an opportunity and there might be a couple more before the end of the season coming out of the Academy to make their first-team debuts.
"We are happy, generally, with the squad we have got.
"A loan signing would give us a little lift, yes, but it would only be done with next season in mind."
On the subject of players leaving before tonight's deadline, Clough said: "We hope it will be quiet in terms of lads going out because we would like to keep everybody we have got now but it's difficult to rule anything out totally.
"Clubs tend to leave it late. My thinking is if you are going to do something, why leave it until only hours before the deadline? It doesn't make sense but there is always that possibility."
Speculation has surrounded Will Hughes and John Brayford throughout the transfer window.
Hughes has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs and Brayford to Cardiff City has been a story doing the rounds, as reports suggested that Derby need to raise £1.8m.
"We kept saying that's all it was, speculation, and until somebody puts something on the table, that's what it remains," said Clough, who could not overlook the irony of Hughes' below-par performances recently.
"From our point of view, Will is having his dip at just the right time!" said Clough.
"If you are going to have a couple of below-par games, the last week in January is fine!"