Wayne Rooney has been dealt a blow to his hopes of keeping Martyn Waghorn at Derby County this summer.
That’s according to a report by Football Insider, who claimed that a recruitment source has revealed that Cardiff City are monitoring the situation of the £1.8m-rated centre-forward ahead of a potential summer swoop.
The report added that Derby are desperate for the 31-year-old to sign a new deal at the club in the coming weeks, with his contract at Pride Park set to expire at the end of June.
While Waghorn did not have the best of seasons by anybody’s standards in 2020/21, the striker undeniably proved his worth to Rooney’s side in the final round of Championship fixtures.
With Derby needing to match Rotherham United’s result against Cardiff City in their own fixture against Sheffield Wednesday to survive relegation, the £7,900-per-week forward proved the catalyst in getting the Rams over the line at Pride Park, scoring two goals and providing one assist to secure a 3-3 draw with the Owls and subsequently keeping his side in the second tier at their opponents’ expense.
Over the rest of the season, Waghorn only managed a further three goals and three assists, as well as averaging a rather disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.67 – ranking him as Derby’s joint 17th-best performer in the Championship.
However, if the reports are to be believed, Rooney is clearly keen to keep the 31-year-old on the club’s books this summer, and as such, the news concerning Mick McCarthy’s interest in his former Ipswich Town player is likely to come as a huge blow for the 35-year-old Derby boss.
With the Bluebirds finishing in eighth place in the Championship, McCarthy will undoubtedly be hoping to mount a push for a play-off spot next season, something which could be quite appealing to Waghorn as the potential of playing Premier League football with the Welsh club appears to be much greater than if he were to stay at Derby this summer.
Indeed, with time running out on his contract at Pride Park and no sign as yet that he will be putting pen to paper on a new deal, things do not look too promising regarding Rooney’s chances of holding onto the striker – whom Kenny Miller dubbed a “fantastic” player – this summer.