By Danny Wright

29th Jul, 2017 | 4:03pm

'A fantastic player' - Manager breaks silence on reported pursuit of senior Aston Villa player

By Danny Wright

Derby manager Gary Rowett has insisted that he is not looking to sign Aston Villa attacker Ross McCormack.

News outlet TeamTalk has previously reported that the Ram were pursuing the 30-year-old senior player along with Sunderland, Hull and Reading.

McCormack only signed a three-year deal at Villa Park last summer when he moved from Fulham, but he has since found himself in the bad books of Steve Bruce after failing to turn up to training.

He was shipped out on loan to Derby’s fierce local rivals Nottingham Forest, and with reported links away from Aston Villa, it appears that his future is still shrouded in mystery.

However Rowett has now broken his silence on being reportedly in the race for the Scottish forward, and although he regards him as a quality player, the former Birmingham boss has made it clear that he doesn’t want to sign him any time in the near future.

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“Ross is not one on our list at the moment,” he said to the Derby Telegraph.

“I think you get those scenarios now where if there is interest in a player, then agents and teams want to stoke that interest up a little bit to create a little bit of a market and some competition.

“I think Ross is a fantastic player when you get him on form. He scores goals, as we saw at Fulham a couple of seasons ago.

“But at the moment, he’s not imminently a target for us.”

McCormack, despite showing good form with Fulham and Leeds in recent years, featured just 22 times across all competitions in his debut season with Aston Villa, scoring three goals in the process.

The Northern Echo has reported that Villa are looking for a fee of £8million for McCormack, who was signed for £12million last summer.

Football Insider verdict

Aston Villa simply have to get rid of McCormack this summer, because the longer they wait, the more that his value will depreciate. If they manage to pick up £8million this summer they will have somehow done well, because that price for an aging player who didn’t play that well last time out is a bit too high. Even though he was signed for £12million more, it shows how poor some of Villa’s recruitment was last summer. It remains to be seen how well this year’s recruits will get on, but with the transfer fees either non-existent or much lower, there is a lot less risk involved.

In other Aston Villa news, a journalist has given an update on one of Villa’s midfielders being eyed up by a rival club.

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