Reported Derby County target Rob Dickie has told The Mirror how he has set his sights on moving up the leagues as Oxford United play Manchester City in the Carabao Cup.

According to Football Insider, Derby are keen on the defender ahead of January.

Dickie has been a standout for Oxford United this season. He has helped the U’s keep nine clean sheets as Karl Robinson’s side seek promotion from League One.

(Photo by Iam Burn/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images).

Speaking ahead of the Carabao Cup tie with City, Dickie plots a return to the higher leagues after previously failing to make the grade at Derby’s league rivals Reading.

As a footballer, if you don’t believe you can get there then you’ll never make it. When I was sent out on loan, I was thinking: ‘why don’t Reading want me?’ But I never lost my belief and it helped me in the end. I want to play at the highest level possible. Promotion with Oxford would be amazing and these cup runs have been a fantastic experience.

Derby must make a new central defender a priority in the coming transfer windows.

Current centre-back pairing Curtis Davies, 34, and Craig Forsyth, a natural left-back, are out of contract next summer and both could end up leaving Derby.

Matt Clarke is on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion, meaning the Rams may not have a recognised centre-back beyond this season.

Dickie would be an ideal signing. He is 23, good in the air and comfortable in possession.

The Mirror likened the Oxford United man to Manchester United’s Harry Maguire. The £80 million defender also came up through the leagues, starting at Sheffield United.

(Photo by Andrew Kearns – CameraSport/ via Getty Images).

Dickie’s contract at the Kassam Stadium expires in 2021. He won’t come cheap.

Also see: New club chairman responds to reports Derby or Stoke could sign £4m player

Also see: Report: London duo join Derby County in race to sign 24-year-old talent

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