According to Football Insider, Southampton and Burnley have joined Derby County in the race to sign Oxford United central defender Rob Dickie.

The U’s centre-back has been in excellent form in League One this season.

His performances reportedly attracted the services of Derby just before January, with Football Insider claiming the Rams were eyeing a potential deal.

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images).

Dickie has helped Oxford challenge for the League One playoff spots. Moreover, he has pitted his wits against Manchester City and Newcastle United in cup competitions.

Oxford took Newcastle to a replay after holding them to a 0-0 draw at St. James’ Park. Dickie won his battle against Newcastle’s £40 million striker Joelinton.

The Mirror liken him to Manchester United’s record defensive signing Harry Maguire.

Dickie, 23, is strong in the air and comfortable on the ball. He has the potential to reach the top, prompting interest from both Southampton and Burnley.

Derby are short on central defensive options after the sacking of Richard Keogh. The Rams have agreed a pre-contract deal to sign Mike te Wierik in the summer.

But manager Phillip Cocu will want to strengthen further next summer. Curtis Davies, 34, and loanee Matt Clarke have questions marks over their future at Pride Park.

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images).

With less than 18 months left on his Oxford deal, Derby, Saints and Burnley may feel they can sign him for a potential bargain deal at the end of the season.

Also see: Player reportedly wanted by Derby and Forest shares thoughts on transfer speculation

Also see: Manager says Derby tried to sign player who Palace later reportedly bid £20m for

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