Derby County manager Phillip Cocu has told reporters that positive talks are underway over the pre-contract agreement for Groningen’s Mike te Wierik.

The Rams were heavily linked with the player in the closing stages of the window.

Groningen technical director Mark-Jan Fledderus later told RTVNoord that his side had received an offer from Derby over a potential deadline day deal.

(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images).

The Dutch club, however, seemingly held firm and retained him.

But Mike te Wierik’s contract expires this summer. Derby can sign him for free, and Cocu told The Athletic’s Ryan Conway that posisitve talks are underway.

A centre-back becomes a top priority for Derby County:

Derby made signing a new defender a top priority during the transfer window. Cocu, however, was left frustrated as proposed deals failed to come off.

Reported centre-back targets Filip Benkovic (Bristol Post) and Harold Moukoudi (L’Equpe) joined fellow Championship rivals Bristol City and Middlesbrough.

Derby will have to make do until the summer. Curtis Davies, Andre Wisdom and Brighton and Hove Albion loanee Matt Clarke will provide the options over the next three months.

Mike te Wierik appears to be exactly the sort of player Derby are missing. In Holland, he boasts an 87.4% pass-accuracy rate and as captain holds leadership qualities.

(Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images).

The Rams brushed off their transfer window disappointment to thrash Stoke City 4-0 at Pride Park last night. The victory moves Cocu’s side nine points ahead of the Potters.

Also see: Report explains why Derby missed out on signing Dutch ace on deadline day

Also see: U21 international says Derby tried to force Nottinghamshire club into buying him


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