Clough set to pounce
Derby County boss Nigel Clough is ready to try and seal deals for Lee Croft and Jake Buxton.
Last Updated: 11/05/09 1:56pm
Derby County boss Nigel Clough has confirmed his interest in signing Lee Croft.
The former Manchester City winger is available on a Bosman free transfer from relegated Norwich City.
A number of clubs are keen on the 23-year-old, who turns 24 at the end of June which allows him to move for nothing when his contract expires.
Clough has now admitted that he is keen on striking a deal.
"Lee's on a free transfer in June," Clough told the Derby Evening Telegraph.
"He's a proven outside right and it's a position we're looking to fill, so we'll be holding talks with him and his representatives to see if we can get a deal.
"Nacer Barazite has gone back to Arsenal, Gary Teale's very comfortable on the left-hand side at the moment, so we don't have a recognised outside right.
"Steve Davies can go out there, so can Kris Commons, but I think they'd prefer to play elsewhere.
"I think he (Croft) puts crosses in and when we've got the likes of Rob Hulse and Chris Porter in the penalty area, then they need some service."
Clough also confirmed he was set to raid his former club Burton for defender Jack Buxton, who has already held talks with the club.
"We know he's a character and would relish the opportunity to play at this level," said Clough. "He's certainly got the desire.
"He would walk across broken glass to come and train at Moor Farm every day. He is certainly one of those who won't be taking it for granted.
"We hope to get Jake in and he will battle for a place with four, five or up to six centre-halves.
"He can play full-back, which he did at Burton at the start of the season, so he covers us all the way across the back four.
"He might not be an automatic first-choice at the moment or at the start of the season, but I'm sure with his character he'll force his way in."
Clough is also monitoring another of his former Burton charges, John Brayford, who is currently at Crewe.
"John is under contract at Crewe and is on a list of many players that we've got, and many defenders, some of whom are free transfers," said Clough.
"We'll have to judge if it's wise really to go after him or to go after some of the free transfers first.
"But he is a good young player, although there are many out there."