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CHERRIES’ interest in Derby star Tom Lawrence has morphed into formal talks with the club’s administrators, according to reports.
Lawrence has been a stand-out in Derby’s brave fight against relegation, picking up eight league goals – including a brace against Cherries to give the Rams a 3-2 win at Pride Park back in November.
The Dorset club were first linked with the Welsh international back in November, with numerous Championship clubs connected to signing Derby’s captain.
Now it appears Cherries and their promotion rivals QPR are the front-runners to secure Lawrence’s signature, with the two clubs alleged to have begun talks with the administrators currently controlling affairs at Pride Park.
Thanks to reportedly being one of the highest earners at the club, at one stage Derby’s administrators were considering allowing the 28-year-old to leave for a pittance – or even a free.
However, after the departure of six first teamers this month, Derby are better poised to ask for a “substantial fee” according to Daily Mail reports.
Lawrence’s value will also be dictated by the fact his contract expires at the end of the season.
The former Manchester United youngster has already racked up a reported £6million worth of transfer fees during his career, with Leicester City parting with a reported £1m before selling him to Derby for a fee alleged to be around £5m.
Stats website tranfermarkt.com, which has been used by UEFA and top clubs’ scouting departments in the past, currently values Tom Lawrence at around £4.5m. At this early stage, no potential fee has been banded about.
With reports stating that Derby need £5m in order to see out the remainder of the season, the sale of Lawrence could ensure the continued existence of Derby County – by sacrificing their hopes of staying up this season.