Derby County boss Wayne Rooney has opened up on links that have surfaced that suggest Premier League outfit Chelsea are in line to seal a deal for Rams starlet Dylan Williams.
As reported in The Athletic and corroborated by Goal’s Chelsea correspondent Nizaar Kinsella, the Blues are angling a move for the 18-year-old with a view to filling out the left-back role at academy level at Cobham, rather than pushing him straight into the first-team setup under Thomas Tuchel.
It turns out the club is indeed Chelsea but it isn't quite a done deal.
Understand the Blues are in advanced talks for Derby County's Dylan Williams, per @reluctantnicko.
It's to fix a problem position at left wing-back in the academy teams. https://t.co/lrjuthxS1F
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) January 21, 2022
Williams broke into the first-team this season at Pride Park and has since featured on eight occasions under Rooney, including a pair of starts in both the Championship and both of Derby’s Carabao Cup fixtures.
Rooney himself confirmed the rumours while leaving the pathway clear for the youngster during his press conference earlier today when he said: “We have agreed a fee with a Premier League club for Dylan Williams. I couldn’t stand in the way of his opportunity.”
Certainly, there is no better place to be in England right now if you are a gifted young footballer than Chelsea‘s vaunted academy pipeline.
Rooney plays down Everton links
With Everton in complete disarray at the minute after parting ways with Rafa Benítez while sitting in 16th and just six points clear of the relegation zone in the Premier League, the Toffees are in desperate need of revival if they are to avoid the unthinkable.
And who better to steady the ship than a former academy graduate that set his name in lights once before at Goodison Park? But, according to Wayne Rooney himself, his only focus at the minute is the task at hand in trying to drag Derby out of the cellar in the Championship.
“I’m the same as everyone else, I see the speculation on social media and in the newspapers and, of course, Everton is a club I grew up supporting. I’m flattered to get brought up in those conversations, but I know Everton will know that for them to have any communication with me they have to go through the administrators. Everyone loves a fairytale, but from my point of view my focus is on the game tomorrow. It’s a massive game, it’s a local derby and I have to make sure I treat it with the utmost respect it deserves, and this club deserves.”
To his credit, despite the many hardships that Derby have faced this season with sanction after sanction in the Championship, the Rams are currently on a five-match unbeaten run (4-1-0) and are only eight points from safety with plenty of fixtures left on the calendar.
This article was edited by Ben Browning.
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