By Wayne Veysey

15th Jul, 2022 | 7:00am

Sources: Derby County lead Rangers in race to sign Northampton star Ali Koiki

Derby County are leading Rangers in the race to sign Northampton Town’s Ali Koiki, sources have told Football Insider.

Koiki, 22, was a stand-out performer for the Cobblers last season and caught the eye of talent spotters across the UK ahead of the summer window.

Derby are in the market for a new left-back after seeing Lee Buchanan head to Werder Bremen.

Koiki fits the ilk of former Derby players Festy Ebosele and Malcolm Ebioewei with his powerful, marauding runs.

Rangers are also monitoring the robust wing-back as Giovanni van Bronckhorst looks to bolster his squad at Ibrox.

Koiki was the subject of much interest in January, with Northampton rejecting six-figure bids from Wycombe Wanderers.

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As revealed by Football Insider during the winter window, Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday were also keen on prising him from Sixfields.

A graduate of Burnley’s academy, Koiki joined Northampton last summer after leaving Bristol Rovers on a free transfer.

He played 49 times across all competitions, with one goal and three assists under his belt.

The London-born star helped the Cobblers reach the play-offs, with his only goal coming in the semi-final defeat to Mansfield.

Having initially signed the defender on a one-year deal, Northampton triggered an extension clause in his contract back in February.

However, that has not stopped clubs from sniffing around for his capture this summer.

Derby County are currently the frontrunners for the defender.

The Rams are preparing for a season in League One and view Koiki as someone who can make the step up from the fourth tier of English football.

In other news, Ibrox expert shares ‘big money’ claim after Rangers pre-season ‘blow’.