Derby have made Dutch legend Phillip Cocu their number one target to replace Frank Lampard if as expected, he joins Chelsea later this week.
Owner Mel Morris is hoping to convince the former PSV Eindhoven and Fenerbahce head coach that he will have the time and the funds available to build a squad capable of gaining promotion to the Premier League.
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Cocu is understood to be concerned a number of Derby's top players, including Harry Wilson, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori were all on season-long loans at Pride Park and have since returned to their respective parent clubs.
If successful, Derby cannot appoint Cocu until Lampard's departure - but are understood to be pushing hard to have a new head coach in place before they leave for Florida on Thursday.
Cocu won three league titles in four seasons at PSV, breaking Ajax's domination in the Eredivisie. As a player, the 48-year-old capped 101 times for Holland, winning league titles with PSV and Barcelona.
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