derby county, Derby County midfielder ‘still likely’ to join League One club, reporter says

Derby County midfielder ‘still likely’ to join League One club, reporter says

Derby County are gearing up for a return to Championship football and as Paul Warne shapes the squad to his liking, there will be a number of players moving on.

The Rams confirmed their retained list earlier this month, with the departure of club captain Conor Hourihane catching the eye of many. He moves on alongside Dwight Gayle, Korey Smith, Martyn Waghorn, Joe Wildsmith and Scott Loach.

derby county, Derby County midfielder ‘still likely’ to join League One club, reporter says
Image courtesy of: ANDREW COULDRIDGE/REUTERS.

Following the announcement of the Irishman’s exit, links with a move to Barnsley quickly emerged.

It was said that the move was possible in the week following those links but writing on X, reporter Doug O’Kane has reassured the Tykes faithful that the reunion deal for the midfielder is ‘still likely’ to be completed.

Barnsley are in for a busy summer after they failed to join Derby County in the Championship.

After falling short in the play-offs once again, the Oakwell outfit have named Darrell Clarke as their new boss. He will be eager to bring in some fresh faces and it looks as though Hourihane will be among them.

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derby county, Derby County midfielder ‘still likely’ to join League One club, reporter says

Who is this?

Back to Barnsley

Hourihane might have dropped out of the Derby County starting XI during the run in but he can still be a figure of great importance as he returns to former club Barnsley.

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He previously managed a thoroughly impressive 31 goals and 48 assists in 134 games for the Tykes, starring before a richly deserved switch to Aston Villa.

derby county, Derby County midfielder ‘still likely’ to join League One club, reporter says
Image courtesy of: LORRAINE O’SULLIVAN/REUTERS.

The 33-year-old might not be the same player he was when he was first at the club but the technical ability he possesses remains the same.

Now, to boot, he has vast experience at a higher level of the game and has turned into a real leader. Hourihane captained the Rams to promotion glory and will be hoping to do the same as he prepares to rejoin his former side.

Change afoot at Pride Park

Derby County will know that while their squad contains plenty of Championship pedigree, they’ll need to make some fresh signings to strengthen their ranks if they’re to avoid an immediate third-tier return.

Departures for the likes of Hourihane pave the way for new faces to come in. It will be intriguing to see just who is on the Rams’ radar, with Warne and co sure to take a meticulous approach in their hunt for new signings.

The exit of skipper Hourihane also means a new club captain will have to be named.

That will be an important decision for Warne to make, with several strong candidates already on the books at Pride Park.

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