According to Football Insider, Derby County are eyeing a summer deal for reported Nottingham Forest target Shane Duffy should they preserve their Championship status.

Duffy has spent the past nine months on loan at Celtic from Brighton and Hove Albion.

But the Republic of Ireland international has struggled to make an impact north of the border, failing to feature in any of Celtic’s past ten matches in all competitions.

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The Scottish Sun claimed Forest were keen to sign him in January. The Reds were said to have made an approach for Duffy, but Celtic opted against cutting his loan short.

Now, Derby are seemingly eyeing a deal for him this coming summer.

Football Insider say Brighton have no plans to integrate Duffy into their side next season, while they will give the green light for the defender to leave on another loan deal.

Derby must first preserve their Championship status with it going to the wire.

The Rams host Sheffield Wednesday knowing a victory would keep them up, while a defeat would send them down. A draw, meanwhile, leaves their fate up to Rotherham United.

The Millers face Cardiff City away and are currently two points adrift of Derby.

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Regardless of what happens this weekend, Derby have a big summer rebuild on their hands and signing a new central defender must top their list of priorities.

Matt Clarke, George Edmundson and Teden Mengi all arrived on loan, while Andre Wisdom and the experienced Curtis Davies are out of contract at the end of the season.

Duffy, 29, still has plenty to offer and Wayne Rooney is said to be a big admirer.

Also see: Duo’s absence for Derby must give Owls advantage in relegation showdown

Also see: Know your history: Derby’s top five record transfer buys, including £5m ace set to leave for free

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