Wayne Rooney has been handed a huge blow to his chances of bringing Reece Burke to Derby County this summer.
That’s according to a report by the Daily Mail, who claim that Luton Town look set to land the Hull City centre-back, who is also being targeted by Derby County, Bristol City, Cardiff City and Millwall, on a free transfer in the coming weeks.
The £2.16m-rated defender had been offered a new deal to remain at the KCOM Stadium this summer, with his current contract set to expire next month, however, it is understood that Hull and Burke failed to agree on amicable terms.
Considering just how impressive Burke has been for Hull this season, the news that the former West Ham United defender looks set to reject a move to Pride Park in favour of a switch to Luton is likely to come as a gutting blow for Rooney.
Over his 34 League One appearances for the Tigers this term, the 24-year-old helped his side to keep 15 clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.3 interceptions, 1.3 tackles and 4.4 clearances per game.
The £7.7k-per-week centre-back also impressed in an attacking capacity, scoring four goals, registering one assist and creating one big chance, in addition to winning an average of 4.5 duels per fixture.
These metrics saw Burke earn a seasonal SofaScore match rating of 7.09, ranking him as Grant McCann’s fifth-best performer in the third tier and playing a key role for Hull in their title-winning campaign.
As such, the addition of the defender Sam Allardyce dubbed a “magnificent” talent would certainly appear to have significantly boosted Derby’s chances of a much more respectable finish in the Championship next season, particularly as both Curtis Davies and Andre Wisdom look set to depart the club in the coming weeks – as well as one that would have been very kind on the Rams’ finances.
However, with it being reported that Burke would rather make a move to Kenilworth Road than to link up with Rooney’s side this summer, the 35-year-old Derby boss will now have to turn his focus in the transfer market elsewhere.