Derby County manager Phillip Cocu

Derby County are in advanced talks over agreeing a new contract with rising star Morgan Whittaker, Football Insider can reveal.

The attacker, 18, has broken into the Championship side’s first team this season and seized his chance under Phillip Cocu.

A Derby source has told Football Insider that Cocu has given the green light for Whittaker to be handed a new and improved deal.

Negotiations are well underway and close to resulting in an agreement in what would be a major boost for both the player and the club.

Whittaker has progressed from the Derby youth ranks to make eight senior appearances this season, six in the Championship and two in the League Cup.

The versatile attacker, who can play wide on both flanks and as the spearhead of the attacker, has yet to open his goal account for the senior side but has an outstanding record at age-group level.

Capped by England at Under-19 level, Derby have high hopes that Whittaker can not only establish himself in their first team but go on to play in the Premier League.

He helped Derby win the Under-18 Premier League last season and has scored 31 times from 51 appearances for the club at that age group.

There is now a clear sense a the club that he has outgrown youth-team football and needs to be playing regularly at senior level to maximise his immense potential.

In other Derby County talks, it can be REVEALED that the club are well placed to sign Leeds United player in January.