According to a report in the Daily Mail, West Bromwich Albion have agreed a two-year deal for Saul Shotton with the player choosing the Baggies over Derby County.
Shotton, an 18-year-old central defender, was on the books of Bury. The club’s expulsion from the league means he has become a free agent, prompting a scramble for his signature.
The Daily Mail claim Derby, Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday moved for him.
But Shotton has opted to join Slaven Bilic’s West Brom. The former Stoke City youngster will complete the move to the Hawthorns later this week.
It’s not the first time West Brom have beaten Derby to a player this season. In the summer, the Rams were reportedy keen on winger Grady Diangara with the view to a loan deal (TeamTalk).
The West Ham United ace, however, decided to join West Brom. Slaven Bilic’s former spell with the Hammers was likely a deciding factor, and he has started the season strongly.
Diangara has netted three times in five Championship appearances. He came on in the recent encounter at Pride Park, helping West Brom rescue a 1-1 draw against the Rams.
Derby have a lack of genuine wide players right now, so missing out on Diangana was a blow. Shotton, meanwhile, would have been signed with a long-term view.
Captain Richard Keogh is 33, while Curtis Davies is 34. Beyond those two, there is a lack of competition for places in the senior squad with Matthew Clarke on loan.
Derby will need to make a new central defender a priority in the coming transfer windows.