Derby County head coach Gary Rowett has apologised to Sunderland after the move to sign Jason Steele on loan from them collapsed with these comments being reported by the Derby Telegraph.

The Rams had been looking to sign a goalkeeper to provide some competition for Scott Carson in the second half of the season and reports had said they were going to sign Steele on loan. And for the longest time, it seemed like that deal was going to happen with the goalkeeper even traveling down to the East Midlands to finalise the transfer.

But the deal would eventually fall through with Steele not agreeing personal terms with Derby. Reports said that the former Team GB player wanted to have a clause in the loan which would see the deal become permanent should Derby get promoted. However the Rams did not want to commit to that as they don’t know yet what they want their squad to be like should they get promoted this season.

With this deal not happening when everyone thought it would, Rowett apologised to Sunderland for all of the confusion. He said: “Chris has made comments about it and I can understand their frustration,”

“There is an element of truth in some of the way it was. The deal did change slightly.”

“But you have to make sure you do the best for your own club and, sometimes, there is a little bit of movement in some of those negotiations.”

“What we hoped was that, at the end, the player would still see a loan move for three months as a better proposition than perhaps being one of three goalkeepers there, because of course we were after a bit of experience if we could get it.”

“I think the player chose in the end not to go ahead with the deal. I could understand probably his disappointment in the fact that it maybe wasn’t quite what it appeared to be at first – and we would apologise to Sunderland for that.”

“But there certainly wasn’t any intent other than to make sure it was right for us.”

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