Derby County boss breaks silence on Bristol City’s transfer pursuit of Jason Knight

Bristol City should be on alert following Paul Warne’s comments on the future of Derby County midfielder Jason Knight.
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Derby County manager Paul Warne expects that Jason Knight will depart the club in the summer transfer window, amid interest from Bristol City.

The Robins are said to have had two bids rejected for the Republic of Ireland international this summer, and now they've received a positive update from the Rams boss. Knight was afforded a break after playing for Ireland in mid-June, and has used that time to mull over his future, and now a departure from Pride Park looks likely.

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In the article posted by the Derby Telegraph, Bristol City are said to have made two offers, but have yet to make a third, meanwhile Ipswich Town and Stoke City are said to be interested. The Tractor Boys have already strengthened in midfield by signing Jack Taylor from Peterborough United, with the Robins previously linked with him before his move to Portman Road.

“I don’t foresee him being here,” he said in an interview with the Derby Telegraph. “That’s the honest truth. I know there’s a lot of clubs who have a massive interest in him, and he’s got a year left on his contract.

“I’ve spoken to Knighty a couple of times. He isn’t like knocking on my door to leave. But I am aware of interest from a couple of Championship clubs. I am aware of bids.

“I am aware of what the player has been offered. I am aware of everything. So the common sense of my brain is being honest - I can see Knighty leaving. I don’t want him to leave from a football manager’s point of view. Why would I?

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“But I also, I’ve said all along, I don’t want to have hostages here and he isn’t that he’s definitely not that he’s a great kid.”

Knight has returned for pre-season training with the League One outfit this week, and is said to have trained well, ahead of their match with Matlock Town on Saturday, July 8. He has been at the club for the whole of his career, gone on to make 166 appearances for Derby, getting 14 goals and seven assists.

Knight's age of just 22-years-old, as well as his exerience of the Championship, which is more than 100 appearances, makes him a good match for Bristol City. Nigel Pearson admitted that their next transfer priority was a midfielder given they've got aging midfielders on their books, and that any new arrival would be to complement Alex Scott as a teammate, rather than be considered his replacement.

As for how far Bristol City are off from reaching Derby's valuation, Warne admitted that he doesn't think the offers have been 'offensive' and they are not too 'way off' from reaching an agreement. The 50-year-old however did open himself to the idea that Knight could remain with the Midlands club until the end of the season, should a team not meet their valuation.

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“He’s trained really well this week,” added Warne, but I honestly think by the end of this summer it will happen, but it would only happen if our club agreed to other club’s evaluation now, they might not.

“And if that’s the case then he runs his contract out here. Great. The figure has to match the value we see in the player. And if that’s the case and the ownership people above my head, regard that figure to be good enough and the player is happy with it, then we part company. It will be a sad day for me because I love Knighty.”

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