Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Derby play down Hughes exit talk; Celtic open Samaras negotiations

Derby County chief executive Sam Rush has denied reports suggesting the loan arrival of Liverpool defender Andre Wisdom has any connection with the long-term future of midfielder Will Hughes.

Derby County chief executive Sam Rush has denied reports suggesting the loan arrival of Liverpool defender Andre Wisdom has any connection with the long-term future of midfielder Will Hughes, Sky Sports understands.

The Rams completed the signing of Wisdom on a season-long loan deal last week, fueling speculation linking Hughes with a January move to Anfield.

However, Rush has moved to dismiss the aforementioned rumours, suggesting the club’s loan move for Wisdom was strictly for football reasons, while also invalidating reports claiming Derby have placed a £15 million price-tag on Hughes.

“I think the Andre Wisdom deal was very much as a result of Liverpool’s desire for him to come to Derby and further his football education,” said Rush.

“Andre was the top of Steve McClaren’s list of people he wanted to bring in to strengthen the squad. So no, there is no connection with Will Hughes at all.

“There has been no further movement in terms of Will. From our point of view, we are just looking forward to watching him continue to play for Derby County.”

Wisdom, an England Under-21 international, made his Rams debut against Birmingham City last Saturday, starting and playing all 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw at Pride Park Stadium.

Celtic open Samaras negotiations

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has confirmed the club have opened contract talks with Georgios Samaras and Joe Ledley, according to Sky Sports.

The Scottish giants, who inked Anthony Stokes to a new three-year deal earlier this week, are keen to sign Samaras and Ledley to new deals before the transfer window reopens in January.

Both Samaras and Ledley are out of contract in the summer.

“We’re talking to the representatives of both players. We’ll be doing that over the next few weeks,” said Lawwell.

“It’s the first meeting we’ll have with Georgios’ representatives. We’ve been talking regularly to Joe’s and hopefully we’ll get something tied up before the end of December.

“Before the window opens, that’s our objective, to have things clear before then.

“Ideally you’d like it done by then. Hopefully they stay and hopefully they commit themselves to Celtic.

“But if not, you need to make arrangements and that will be the right time to get clarity there.”

In other news, the SPL champions are scheduled to host Dundee United at Celtic Park on Saturday, 2 November.

Samaras, 6/4 to score at anytime against the Tangerines, has totaled four goals and one assist in six league appearances this season.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shawn Etemadi


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