Reported Derby County striker target Serdar Dursun has scored his 15th goal of the season after netting a brilliant hat-trick in Darmstadt’s latest 4-1 win over Erzgebirge Aue.
The Turkish striker was heavily linked with a move to Derby last summer.
With his contract expiring in the summer of 2021, then Derby manager Phillip Cocu sounded him out as a replacement for Chris Martin in a potential bargain deal.
According to Bild, the Rams offered £900,000 for his services.
Darmstadt, however, snubbed Derby’s offer as they seeked a higher fee in order to give them a better chance of finding a replacement before the summer window closed.
A deal ultimately never materialised, and it arguably cost Cocu his job.
The Rams started the season without a recognised striker. Goals were hard to come by, and the Dutchman was later dismissed heading into the November international break.
Derby have improved under the guidance of Wayne Rooney. However, a run of four games without a goal highlights their existing problems and lack of goal threat.
The season could have panned out so differently had Dursun arrived at Pride Park.
The 29-year-old reached 15 for the season in 26 games with his latest hat-trick following a two-goal haul in the entertaining 3-2 win at Paderborn last week.
Dursun has posted six goals and one assist in his last four games.
In contrast, Colin Kazim-Richards tops Derby’s scoring charts with only seven goals while fellow striker Martyn Waghorn has scored only three goals all season.
Aside from his goals, Dursun stands at 6ft 3inch and can win his fair share of aerial duels, physically impose himself on the centre-backs while dropping deep to link play.