According to TEAMtalk, Derby County have declared their interest in signing Manchester City striker Liam Delap.

The Rams appear to have made contact with City over a potential loan deal for Delap, but there’s a problem.

Stoke City, Cardiff City and Middlesbrough are also keen, whilst West Bromwich Albion want to sign him as they face up to life back in the Championship.

Manchester City v Southampton - Premier League 2
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 15: Liam Delap of Manchester City controls the ball under pressure of Allan Tchaptchet of Southampton during the Premier League 2 match between Manchester City U23 and Southampton U23 at Manchester City Football Academy on March 15, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images)

That’s major competition for Delap, and if Derby don’t secure their Championship status, they will surely miss out.

One thing going in the Rams’ favour is that Delap spent 10 years in the Derby ranks before leaving for City in 2019.

 

Heading back to familiar surroundings could appeal to Delap, who needs regular first-team football next season to aid his development.

Tranmere Rovers v Manchester City U21 - EFL Trophy
BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 08: Liam Delap of Manchester City U21 reacts during the EFL Trophy match between Tranmere Rovers and Manchester City U21s at Prenton Park on December 08, 2020 in Birkenhead, England. A limited number of fans are welcomed back to stadiums to watch elite football across England. This was following the easing of restrictions on spectators in tiers one and two areas only. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

The 18-year-old has scored once in three first-team games for City this season, but it’s his Premier League 2 record this season – 20 goals and four assists in 18 games – that has really enhanced his reputation.

Delap looks set for a huge future, and whilst it stings that Derby lost him almost two years ago, it’s a major compliment to the club’s youth setup.

Hopefully Derby can win the race, as having him shining alongside fellow academy products Max Bird, Louie Sibley and Lee Buchanan would be quite the sight for Rams fans next season.

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