According to The Sun Newspaper, Brighton and Hove Albion have slapped an asking price on Derby County target Christian Walton.

A product of the Plymouth Argyle youth system, Walton made the switch to Brighton in 2013 to begin his professional career. Successful loan spells with Luton Town and Southend United soon followed before the keeper headed to Wigan.

The 23-year-old stopper spent the last two seasons on loan with the Latics, playing a total of 69 games across the League One and Championship campaigns and is now starting to attract interest from several other Championship sides.

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Walton kept an astounding 30 clean sheets during his time at the DW Stadium and his performances were a huge contributing factor in Wigan’s Championship survival last season

Derby are said to be leading the race for the former England under 21 international as they search for a more reliable alternative to Scott Carson and Kelle Roos, who both failed to nail down a regular starting role as the Rams made it to the playoff final.

According to a report in ‘The Sun’, Brighton have now told Derby they want a minimum of £3 million for the talented young keeper and with Phillip Cocu keen to strengthen in between the sticks, Walton could be the perfect short and long-term investment for that price.

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Should Derby fail to push the deal over the line, Phillip Cocu will likely opt for one of Kelle Roos and young keeper Jonathan Mitchell – both of whom have been heavily involved in pre-season – in goal.

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Sports journalist and editor. Southend-based Reading FC fan. Can sometimes catch me editing for In Bed With Maradona. Find me on Twitter @HarrySmithRFC