Reported Derby County and Stoke City target Sam Cosgrove has endured a torrid run of form following links to the Championship during the January transfer window.

According to the Evening Express, Derby, Stoke City and Middlesbrough were all considering a move for the Aberdeen striker who has set records this season.

Cosgrove became the first Dons player to hit 20 goals before Christmas since the 70s.

(Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images).

But in recent weeks, the 23-year-old has hit a torrid run of form.

Since the turn of the year, Aberdeen have failed to score a single goal in the Scottish Premiership, and they have now gone five consecutive games without finding the net.

Dons boss Derek McInnes told the Evening Express of his anguish.

We are waiting for Sam Cosgrove to get up and running and sometimes it can be as simple as a penalty-kick to get him going again. If you don’t score in five games you deserve stick. I understand it. I am angry and embarrassed that we have not scored again for the fifth game in a row. Clearly that is where we need to get better.

Aberdeen slapped a £4 million asking price on Cosgrove (The Sun; December 1 Page 62).

But his January form may make potential suitors such as Derby and Stoke re-think.

Cosgrove, 23, came through the Everton youth academy. He had a spell at Carlisle United before Aberdeen signed him for a bargain £25,000.

Derby may see the 6ft inch striker as an ideal long-term target man.

(Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images).

The Rams could lose fans favourite Chris Martin with his contract running out this summer. Martyn Waghorn, meanwhile, turned 30 last month.

Also see: Attacker Derby reportedly tried to sign for £1m could feature against Rams in midweek

Also see: Player Derby sold for £1.5m ruled out of Pride Park return by top-flight boss

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