According to the Coventry Telegraph, Bristol City are closing in on a deal for Derby County target Jordan Willis.

The report states the Coventry defender is set to leave the club on a free transfer. Derby are listed as one of several Championship suitors, but they appear in danger of missing out.

Willis’ contract at Coventry expires this summer. The 24-year-old has made more than 200 appearances for the Sky Blues, helping the club to a top-half League One finish last term.

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Derby County must strengthen their defence this summer:

Derby will be in the market for a new central defender this summer. Alex Pearce has joined Millwall following a successful loan spell, while Efe Ambrose leaves at the end of his contract.

The Rams’ biggest loss at central defence is Fikayo Tomori. The Fans’ Player of the Year has returned to parent club Chelsea after an excellent campaign at Pride Park.

Tomori will be a big miss for Derby boss Frank Lampard. The talented defender allows the Rams to play a high line due to his blistering pace. Moreover, he is strong in the tackle and comfortable on the ball in possession.

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Willis is also quick and strong. Coventry are reportedly desperate to keep him, but the defender has his eyes on a Championship move this summer.

If Derby’s interest in him is serious, now is the time to make their move. Aside from strengthening their options at the back, the Rams would impact a direct Championship promotion rival.

Bristol City just missed out on the playoffs last season. After recently selling Lloyd Kelly to Bournemouth for a reported £13 million, the Robins have cash to spend this summer. Most feel Lee Johnson’s men are on an upward curve, and next season could be their time to push for a Premier League place.

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Considering Willis is available on a free, he could turn out to be a real coup for Derby and a bitter blow for their league rivals.

Also see: Report: Derby County track former Arsenal prospect Stephy Mavididi.

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