According to TEAMtalk, Derby County are among several clubs keen on Middlesbrough’s Paddy McNair.
The Middlesbrough utility man has been linked with Derby before. This time last year, the Rams were allegedly battling for his signature (The Mirror, live entry blog, June 2 at 14:55).
Ultimately, Boro fended off competition and signed the former Sunderland man for a reported £5 million fee.
Many questioned whether Derby missed out on a potential top-quality signing. But, McNair’s struggles at the Riverside Stadium last term instead suggested they dodged a bullet.
The 24-year-old made just seven Championship starts for Boro last season. For the large part, Tony Pulis preferred to play former Derby man Ryan Shotton while in midfield McNair had little luck.
McNair is capable of playing both at right-back and as a holding midfielder. But Derby are covered in both positions by the talented Jayden Bogle and new signing Graeme Shinnie.
It would seem odd for the Rams to realistically target a move for the Boro man. The reported £3 million fee could be a sizeable chunk of Derby’s summer transfer budget, and there are more pressing areas to improve.
TEAMtalk also cite Premier League side Sheffield United as a suitor, alongside Celtic and Blackburn Rovers. The Northern Ireland man may have qualities he struggled to show at Boro prompting strong interest. But, in Derby’s case, they would be better off steering well clear.