According to a report by Football Insider, Derby County are in advanced talks with young forward Morgan Whittaker over a new long-term contract at the club.
The 18-year-old has broken in to the first team squad this season.
Whittaker, who can play out wide or upfront, made his Championship debut at Hull City before earning his first league start for Derby in the home draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
Derby have reason to believe he will be a top player in the future. At U18 level, Whittaker scored 31 goals in 51 games helping the side win the Premier League Cup last season.
The report adds that manager Phillip Cocu has been given the green light to offer him a long-term contract, and it’s a deal which could save the club millions down the line.
Derby haven’t been shy when it comes to spending in their bid for promotion. Under owner Mel Morris, the club have broken their transfer record on three occasions.
Morgan Whittaker could be a solution to Derby’s current problms:
Attacking wide players such as Tom Ince, Andreas Weimann, Tom Lawrence, Ikechi Anya and Floran Jozefzoon have cost the club over £20 million in transfer fees.
Derby, however, have fallen short in their quest for promotion. Of the abovementioned, only Ince was deemed a real success while the jury is still out on Lawrence.
Derby are in need of an injection of quality. Cocu was dealt a difficult hand last summer, with a massive void left by last season’s loan stars Mason Mount and Harry Wilson.
A new quality wide player in today’s market could fetch a near eight-figure fee. But in Whittaker, Derby have a potential gem who with some polishing could fill that void.
Whittaker isn’t the finished article and Rams fans must be patient with him. The same can also be said of fellow young stars Jason Knight, Louie Sibley and Max Lowe.
Also see: ‘Terrible; Release him’: Some Derby fans hammer player in Wigan draw
Also see: Palace boss comments suggest club could seek deal for £7m-rated Derby ace in January