Millwall manager Gary Rowett says Derby County loanee Scott Malone has a verbal agreement to join the Lions this summer when his contract expires, South London Press report.

Malone joined Derby from Huddersfield Town in the summer of 2018.

The left-back was a regular under Frank Lampard, but the emergence of Max Lowe plus Craig Forsyth’s return from injury saw him slip down the pecking order.

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Former manager Phillip Cocu allowed Malone to leave last summer on loan as Lee Buchanan also came through, and the 30-year-old joined former Derby boss Rowett at Millwall.

Malone has gone on to make 36 Championship starts for the Lions this season, and Rowett now tells reporters there is a verbal agreement in place to make his move permanent.

“I think it is more or less verbally agreed but we’ll try and formalise that. We’re working in a world that until something is done, it’s not done. But the intention from all parties has always been for Scottie to stay, because he is enjoying his football. He knows we value him as a person and what he brings to the pitch. He adds athleticism and running to his quality. Even at his age he is still churning out performance after performance physically. He’s been excellent for us, hence why we’ve tried hard to tie him down for longer,” Rowett explained.

Malone has posted five goals and two assists for Millwall this season.

Ironically, only striker Colin Kazim-Richards has posted more goal contributions for Derby, and therein lies a key reason behind the Rams’ struggles this term.

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Malone will seemingly join Florian Jozefzoon and Martyn Waghorn as fellow Frank Lampard signings from 2018 to leave Pride Park, with only Jack Marriott remaining.

Derby must clear the decks this summer and look to rebuild the squad.

Wayne Rooney’s only focus, however, will be on this weekend’s relegation showdown with Sheffield Wednesday where a defeat would see the Rams drop into League One.

Also see: Derby and Owls combined XI ahead of relegation showdown; Where would they finish?

Also see: ‘100% going nowhere’: Manager reacts to claims Derby and Blackburn want to sign his player

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