Sources: Rooney sets sights on signing £45K-a-week Celtic loanee if Derby stay up
Wayne Rooney has set his sights on signing Celtic loanee Shane Duffy if Derby County stay up, Football Insider has learned.
The centre-back, 29, has spent the season at Parkhead after being deemed surplus to requirements at Brighton.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that the Premier League club’s manager Graham Potter has no plans to reintegrate Duffy into his team next season.
He will green light another loan for the Republic of Ireland international and that has opened the door for Derby.
Rooney is a big admirer of Duffy, who also graduated from the Everton youth ranks.
Derby’s pursuit depends on their Championship survival with the club 21st in the table and two points above the relegation zone.
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The defender has had a troubled campaign at Celtic, who were hailed for a major coup when they beat multiple clubs to his signature last September.
The Hoops agreed a deal in which they paid a seven-figure loan fee for Duffy as well as a significant portion of his £45,000-a-week Brighton salary.
The centre-back, who had been a target for Champions League contenders West Ham, made an instant impact at Celtic with goals in his first two league matches.
But he subsequently struggled and made a string of errors that eventually saw him dropped from the team.
Duffy has barely played since January, by which time Celtic’s 10-in-a-row hopes had been virtually extinguished.
Despite the season-ending injury to star centre-back Christopher Jullien, the Brighton man has not started any of the club’s last 10 matches.
Caretaker boss John Kennedy has preferred to grant experience to youngster Stephen Welsh, who has been Kristoffer Ajer’s regular partner.