Rams hope to stump Sunderland to managerial appointment.
Former England manager Steve McLaren has arrived in Derby to hold talks with the club over the possibility of taking over the vacant managerial role, Sky Sports reports.
Ex-Stoke boss Tony Pulis had been believed to be the early frontrunner to replace Nigel Clough at Pride Park, but it now seems that McLaren has overtaken him in the running.
The Rams dismissed Clough following their 1-0 defeat to local rivals Nottingham Forest at the weekend, and have now identified McLaren, who played for the Rams in the 1980s, was assistant to manager Jim Smith when Derby were promoted to the Premier League. He left County in 1999 to become assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, as the ideal man to take over the reins.
Speaking outside Pride Park, McClaren told Sky Sports News: “I’m just going in to have a quick chat with them.
“Great coming back. It’s good to be back and hopefully things will work out.”
McLaren is currently working as a coach under Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers, with the former Spurs man admitting that he may lose him.
“He’s made no secret of the fact he wants to get back into management and we won’t be standing in his way if somebody does come in for him,” he said.
“We had an agreement that he could leave if a club showed interest and I think there is a good chance we could lose him.”
Midfielder Joey Barton also echoed the sentiments made by Redknapp by saying that he would be well suited to the vacant position in the East Midlands.
“He would be a massive loss for any club,” said Barton. “I’ve really enjoyed my time working with him. I mean from a selfish perspective I sort of hope that he doesn’t get the job and stays with us, because he’s been brilliant.
“I’ve always thought he’s been one of the best English coaches out there and he gets an unfair media because of his England tenure.
“I think he would be a great benefit for any club, he’s certainly a very good coach, very organised, puts on great sessions. He’s great fellow and the perfect sort of guy for that job.”