Derby County manager Phillip Cocu has told RamsTV how the club tried to sign Groningen’s Mike te Wierik on deadline day, but a deal failed to materialise.

The Dutch captain has agreed a pre-contract deal to join Derby this summer.

(Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images).

But he was a target during January. Derby were on the lookout for a new central defender, and te Wierik represented a potential bargain option.

Cocu, however, says Groningen were unwilling to let him go.

We tried in the last part of the window to get him over here so he could get used to us. But we couldn’t do it. He’s an important player for Groningen. He’s their captain so they didn’t want to release him. There is a mutual understanding between the clubs so now he will be joining us on a free transfer in the summer. We are happy to have him on board.

Mike te Wierik’s contract at Groningen expires in the summer. He will join Derby on a free transfer, having agreed a three-year deal with the Rams.

The 27-year-old is a right central defender. On the ball, he boasts an 87.7% pass-accuracy rate while Groningen have the second-best defensive record in the Eredivisie.

Derby are signing a player ideal for the Championship club’s playing style.

Moreover, his arrival from Holland also shows the faith put into manager Phillip Cocu who could be the first Derby boss under Mel Morris to start two consecutive campaigns.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images).

Derby fans will hope his arrival will be the first of many new signings this summer.

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