Derby County are ‘leading the race’ to sign Middlesbrough defender Darnell Fisher, according to Darren Witcoop.
Fisher has suffered an injury hit season at Middlesbrough, playing just once in the Championship all season and looks set to leave on a free at the end of his contract in the summer.
The 29-year-old full-back made his one and only appearance this season as a last minute substitute against Coventry City on the final day of the season.
Fisher has been out since the end of the 2020/21 season after suffering a serious knee injury in a home accident, giving the former Preston North End man a moment to remember as he finally returned to action.
But according to Witcoop, Fisher is expected to leave the Riverside at the end of the season on a free transfer, with Derby ‘leading the race’ to sign the full-back.
Derby are leading the race to sign Middlesbrough full-back Darnell Fisher this summer. Fisher is expected to leave Boro on a free after an injury-hit spell and Rams boss Paul Warne is looking to bolster his defensive options #dcfc #derbycounty #boro
— Darren Witcoop (@DarrenOWitcoop) May 9, 2023
Derby were previously reported by The Sun back in October to be interested in taking Fisher on loan, but his delayed return saw any move fail to materialise.
Fisher to Derby…
There’s no doubt that signing Fisher even on a free transfer would be a risk given his almost two-year absence from football, and although he returned on the final day, the impact of the injury on his performance and availability is yet to become clear.
Fisher previously played under Rams boss Warne at Rotherham United before the full-back joined Preston and played 119 games across three and a half years in all competitions.
Derby will likely be looking to bring full-backs to the club in the summer, with Haydon Roberts set to return to Brighton & Hove Albion after being deployed at left-back throughout the season, whilst Korey Smith and 19-year-old Jake Rooney have featured at right-back.
If Fisher can return to his previous levels then he would prove a smart signing, but given his recent injuries, it could be a huge risk.