According to RMC Sport journalist Loic Tanzi, Derby County made an offer for Reims midfielder Marshall Munetsi on loan with a view to a permanent deal in January.
The Rams looked to bolster their midfield options late in the January transfer window to cover for Krystian Bielik who suffered another ACL knee ligament injury.
Derby eventually signed Everton’s Beni Baningime on loan until the end of the season.
But reports suggest the Toffees ace wasn’t Derby’s first-choice heading into deadline day.
RMC Sport claim Derby were initially looking to sign Munetsi from Reims.
Munetsi is predominantly a holding midfielder but he can also feature at centre-back. The Zimbabwe Times lauded him as a prodigy compared to Yaya Toure.
Derby ultimately missed out on his signature, and now the 24-year-old has rediscovered his top form in France and has been a standout over the past six weeks.
Since the reported failed move to Pride Park, Munetsi has made five league starts for Reims, with the French club undefeated and conceding only four goals.
Munetsi, meanwhile, has picked up two MOTM awards and was statistically the best midfielder in the league for game week 29 following his display against Lyon.
Derby, meanwhile, have declined drastically since Bielik’s injury against Bristol City.
The Rams have picked up just 13 points from 12 games since January 30, while conceding 19 goals including a 4-0 thrashing at Championship playoff hopefuls Cardiff City.
Wayne Rooney’s side are still in the scrap for survival, and their current winless run of seven games leaves the Rams looking nervously over their shoulders.
The midfield remains an area to improve. Max Bird has struggled, Baningime has barely featured while Jason Knight and Graeme Shinnie have missed Bielik’s presence.