According to The Telegraph, Derby County have launched a bid to sign Leicester City defender Filip Benkovic with the Rams backing manager Phillip Cocu in January.
Benkovic has rarely played for Leicester City since moving to the club in 2018.
But his performances at Celtic, helping the Scottish Premiership champions win a treble treble, have prompted talk of him emulating former Hoops man Virgil van Dijk.
Former Celtic striker Frank McAvennie told The Sottish Sun how he will go all the way.
Benkovic has come in and, boy, what a great player. He’s going to go all the way to the very top. He will be just like Virgil van Dijk and that’s the type of players Celtic should be getting. I know Benkovic is on loan, but I would love for us to buy him.If you were to spend £15m on the boy now, you would get a minimum of £25m and also a few years out of him, plus an add-on when he moves on again.
Benkovic joined Leicester in the summer of 2018 for a reported £13 million fee.
The Croatian, 21, was loaned out to Celtic last season and bagged the Scottish Premiership title, the Scottish League Cup and the Scottish Cup in his spell there.
Benkovic showed the sort of form at Celtic Park replicating that of Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman left to join Southampton, before signing for Liverpool in a record £75 million deal.
Derby are desperately short on centre backs right now. Richard Keogh’s sacking and Matt Clarke’s injury leaves Curtis Davies, 34, and left-back Craig Forsyth as first choice.
The Rams must make a new central defender a priority in January. With the team slipping down the Championship table, a top-quality loan deal makes sense.
Benkovic has the ability to star at Championship level. And at Pride Park, he will be guaranteed starts making it a potential deal which should suit all parties involved.