Rams’ manager Nigel Clough is reportedly under pressure from the club’s owner to raise finds during the winter months, which may tempt him to cash in on the highly rated midfielder.
The 17-year-old is arguably Derby’s most valuable asset and could command a fee in excess of the reported £1.8m demanded by the club’s board to ease the running of the team.
Arsene Wenger is thought to be a big admirer of the youngster, having sent scouts to witness his talents first hand on multiple occasions.
Liverpool and Manchester City are also in the hunt, with the duo both tempted to make an early investment thanks to his future potential.
After 15 Championship appearances so far this season the England U-21 setup have called up Hughes for their encounter with Northern Ireland.
If he makes it onto the field he will be the second youngest player to ever feature for the team and he honoured to have the opportunity:
“Being called up for England Under-21s is a fantastic achievement on my part and it’s something I’m really looking forward to.
“You look at the names in the squad – people like Jordan Henderson, Tom Ince, Josh McEachran – they are the players I’ve been watching on TV over the past two or three years.
“So to be involved in a squad with those kind of players should be a great experience for me. It was a bit of a shock and I didn’t believe him at first, seeing as my last call-up was for the under-17s. But I’m delighted and I’m looking forward to the game.”