Oxford United’s recent confirmed transfer of Rob Atkinson could clear a path for Derby County to sign reported central defender target Rob Dickie this month.

The U’s signed Atkinson from Eastleigh, their fourth addition already this month.

The 21-year-old central defender is highly rated. And, his arrival at the Kassam Stadium could be great news for the Rams in their reported pursuit of Rob Dickie.

(Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images).

According to Football Insider, Derby are keen on signing the central defender.

Dickie came through the ranks at Championship side Reading. However, after struggling to break through at the Madejski Stadium, he signed for Oxford in 2018.

The 23-year-old has since become a big player for the U’s. He is tall, strong and comfortable in possession, helping Oxford to the top six in League One this season.

Derby must strengthen this month and the defence has become a top priority.

The sacking of Richard Keogh has left the club short on numbers. Curtis Davies, 34, Craig Forsyth, 30, and on loan Matthew Clarke are the current options.

As of next summer, Derby could be down to just one with Forsyth’s contract expiring.

Dickie is exactly the sort of defender the club should be seeking. His recent performance in the Carabao Cup clash with Manchester City highlighted his big potential.

He posted five interceptions and six aerial duels won. He was calm under the high press, making 72.2% of his intended passes which was among the U’s best.

The Mirror claim he could follow in the footsteps of £80 million defender Harry Maguire.

(Photo by James Baylis – AMA/Getty Images).

While the Oxford man may not come cheap, Derby have resources to prize him away while the League One club may already be preparing for a future departure.

Also see: Derby reportedly hope to land top-flight talent who West Brom missed out on

Also see: Manager admits reported Derby and Blackburn target could depart club this month

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