Wayne Rooney’s Derby County could consider a move for Gary Cahill this summer.
That’s according to a report by The Athletic, who suggested that Rooney could be tempted to pick up the phone to his former England teammate in a bid to convince him of a move to Pride Park, with the 35-year-old’s contract at Crystal Palace expiring this summer.
The report added that Derby will look to bring Manchester United loanee Teden Mengi back to the club in the upcoming transfer window, with the Red Devils believed to be happy to let the 19-year-old move back to Pride Park after the Rams secured their Championship status on the final day of the season.
While Derby’s season was undoubtedly one which many of the Pride Park faithful would like to put behind them as quickly as possible, Mengi was one of the few promising aspects of Rooney’s side.
Indeed, Ryan Conway’s report for The Athletic praises the centre-back’s ability to “make smart interceptions,” as well as how comfortable he appears with the ball at his feet and how well the 19-year-old moves “into midfield to create overloads”.
However, with it being claimed that Matt Clarke does not look likely to return to the club on another loan deal, along with Curtis Davies’ contract expiring in a matter of weeks, experience could well be something which is required next to Mengi in the Rams’ backline as of next season.
Centre-backs do not come much more experienced than Cahill, with the £1.8m-rated defender having played 560 games over the course of his club career, with 392 of these coming in the top flight – in addition to the 35-year-old winning two Premier League titles, one Champions League, two FA Cups, two Europa Leagues and one League Cup.
As such, a move for Cahill this summer could turn out to be something of a masterstroke by Rooney. What the Crystal Palace man has lost in speed and agility with age could easily be balanced out by Mengi, while the 35-year-old’s experience and knowledge of the game would more than compensate for that which the 19-year-old lacks.