Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Rams set to seal triple transfer swoop
Derby County are closing in on the signings of three new players as they step up their bid to avoid relegation from the top flight.
Blackburn Rover's Robbie Savage, former Newcastle star Laurent Robert and Tottenham Hotspur misfit Hossam Ghaly are all poised to complete moves to the Premier League bottom side.
The Rams are eight points adrift at the foot of the table and manager Paul
Jewell is working at a furious pace to strengthen his squad following the
opening of the transfer window.
All three players will be at Pride Park on Tuesday afternoon on a day when the club
received international clearance for another new signing, Argentinian striker
The Robert deal appears the most advanced after the 32-year-old Frenchman was
offered a contract until the end of the season.
The winger, who had a brief spell with Portsmouth in 2005, has been without a
club since leaving Levante earlier in the season.
He has been training with the Rams for the past few days and clearly impressed
Jewell, who said: 'His ability is unquestioned and I think this could be a
really good bit of business for us.
'He hasn't cost us anything in terms of a transfer fee and we had the chance
to have a good look at him in training before making a decision.
'Laurent's key quality is what he can do with the ball - he can unlock the
door, make things happen and produce a bit of magic.'
While Robert will bring creativity, Jewell has also shown his determination to
add bite by bringing in the experienced and combative Savage.
The prospect of the 33-year-old leaving Ewood Park became likely last week
when Blackburn boss Mark Hughes admitted that, while hoping Savage would stay,
he would not block a move.
Savage, who had also been linked with Sunderland, lost his place at Rovers
after undergoing knee surgery earlier this season and has been unable to regain
a regular starting place.
Ghaly has been out of favour at White Hart Lane since throwing his shirt to
the ground when substituted by then manager Martin Jol in the final game of last
The 26-year-old Egypt midfielder has pulled out of the African Nations Cup in
an attempt to secure a move to the Rams, but any deal will be subject to a work
Jewell said: 'Hossam is coming in this afternoon. We're not sure about his
work permit situation but, all being well, he will be a Derby County player.'
Jewell also seems unlikely to stop there, with a new goalkeeper in his sights
due to injuries to Stephen Bywater and Lewis Price.
The former Wigan boss added: 'We are looking for a goalkeeper and will
hopefully complete a deal today or tomorrow.'
On a positive day for the Rams, clearance for Villa to make his debut was also
The 25-year-old Argentinian striker completed his £2million move to Pride Park
from Mexican side UAG Tecos last week.
Villa was paraded to the crowd before Sunday's FA Cup tie against Sheffield
Wednesday and Jewell is now looking forward to seeing him in action.
'I can't wait to see 'Tito' in a Derby shirt because he looks good in
training,' Jewell said.
'I'm sure he will be a big fans' favourite.'