Derby remain confident of signing Saint Jones

August 9, 2007

Derby assistant manager David Kelly has confirmed the club remain hopeful of signing Southampton striker Kenwyne Jones.

The Rams have already had two bids rejected, and the second, submitted on Monday, would have been a new club record had it been accepted.

Davies has already spent a record £3.5million on Rob Earnshaw this summer, and is ready to break the bank again to land Jones.

It is understood the fee on this occasion could have risen to £5million including add-ons, but Saints are holding on for more for a player they see as one of their remaining prize assets.

'A bid has gone in and we are waiting to hear,' said Kelly. 'As far as I'm aware the deal is not dead, and the two clubs are still talking.

'We are hoping for something because he is an exciting player, a very young talent who will give us a different option up front.

'He has an extreme amount of pace, and if we are fortunate to get him then he will be a valuable added member to the squad.'

Kelly spoke to the media today due to manager Billy Davies appearing at Soho Square on a double Football Association charge of using foul and/or abusive language.

The incidents date back to Derby's Championship game at Southend in January, when Davies allegedly swore at the fourth official and a steward.

There is the prospect of Davies facing a touchline ban to start the season, which would lead to Kelly leading out the team for the curtain-raiser with Portsmouth at Pride Park on Saturday.

'That could possibly happen,' said Kelly. 'We will wait to hear what the decision is later today, and if that's the case then so be it, but we are hoping for a favourable result.

'I appreciate it was a long time ago, but sometimes it takes time to get the right people together at the right time.

'If it does happen, then it's something we will have to cope with.

'But I've done it before when I was at Sheffield United with Neil (Warnock) when he was in the stands.

'These things happen in football. If those are the cards we are dealt with, then we will get on with it.'