Derby County, ‘I had 8 missed calls’ – 30-y/o Championship ace looks back on failed Derby County transfer

‘I had 8 missed calls’ – 30-y/o Championship ace looks back on failed Derby County transfer

Speaking to the South London Press, Millwall’s new arrival Maikel Kieftenbeld has reflected on his failed move to Derby County in 2018.

The Dutch midfielder was at the centre of an infamous transfer pursuit in 2018.

During his time on the books with Birmingham City, Derby County made an effort to sign Kieftenbeld on transfer deadline day. Gary Rowett, who was the Rams’ boss at the time, battled hard to seal a deal but it could not be ratified in time.

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Now, Rowett has finally got his man, but with Millwall. The Lions confirmed the acquisition of Kieftenbeld days before the end of the January transfer window, safely avoiding a similar saga.

Now, the 30-year-old has opened up on his failed move to Pride Park.

Speaking about the situation, Kieftenbeld revealed then-Birmingham City manager Harry Redknapp initially told him that he would be staying at St Andrew’s, prompting the midfielder to return home to Holland.

However, the midfielder had eight missed calls when he landed after the Blues changed their mid. He said:

“I was a late, late transfer. I was in Holland when it all had to be done. There was a lot of emailing and faxing going on.

“It was quite stressful. I remember the end of the transfer window was the same time as the international break. The [Birmingham] manager then was Harry Redknapp. 

“I said [to him]: ‘What’s the plan – do you want me to move?’ No, no – you’re definitely staying. I said: ‘Alright, I’ll go back to Holland’. When I landed at Skipple Airport in Amsterdam I had eight missed calls and the club tried to sell me!

“In the end it was too late. It’s a day I want to forget, but also not forget. There are a lot of things in your career where you look back – and this was one of them.”

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Since joining Millwall, the midfielder has made three appearances across all competitions. Next up for Kieftenbeld and Rowett’s Lions is Sheffield Wednesday, who currently occupy 23rd place.

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