According to the Sunday People (September 29: Page 53), Derby County are in a battle with Stoke City to sign former Aston Vill ace Birkir Bjarnason on a free transfer.

The Iceland international was last seen at Aston Villa. He helped Villa earn promotion at Derby’s expense but later walked away from Villa Park in the summer.

(Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images).

Bjarnason left Villa just before the August deadline day. This enables the former Basel wide player to join another club outside of the regular transfer window.

Derby have struggled so far this season. A poor transfer window left the Rams short on wide options, with Martyn Waghorn and Tom Lawrence more suited to central roles.

The recent off-field incident involving Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett could limit Derby’s options further. Both players were left out at the weekend pending an investigation.

Bjarnason made 47 Championship appearances for Villa over two-and-a-half years. The 31-year-old is hardworking, direct and offers quality on the ball.

His most memorable moment arguably came back in 2016. Bjarnason started Iceland’s famous European Championship victory over England, triumphing 2-1.

(Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images).

The report adds Stoke City and Bundesliga side Nuremberg are also keen. Derby, however, could almost guarantee him first-team football which may be more appealing.

Also see: Phillip Cocu claims one Derby player ‘did something special’ during Birmingham win.

Also see: Gary Rowett admits level of regret ditching Derby County for Stoke City.

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