Nottingham Forest linked defender Lee Buchanan has extended his contract with Derby County to hand the Reds and Celtic a little blow.
Both clubs were keen to sign Buchanan for free this summer with Derby’s finances in a perilous state.
With Chris Kirchner edging closer to a takeover, however, the Rams have now been able to extend the England under-21 performer’s deal.
A clause has been triggered that will see him stay at the club for at least another year.
All is not lost, however.
Even when Kirchner takes control of the club there will be significant debt to clear at Pride Park.
It won’t be like the Chelsea situation where Todd Boehly has taken the reins and vowed to give Thomas Tuchel a bounty of cash to spend on players.
Derby will still have to cut their cloth accordingly over the next few years.
As a result, it’s not beyond the realms of reality that Buchanan will still leave the club this summer and it merely means that anyone keen on signing him will have to pay a transfer fee.
At 21-years-old Buchanan has a bright future. He made 31 appearances for the Rams last season amid some time out through injury.
Derby rejected several bids from Forest during the summer transfer window.
New CEO Dane Murphy was keen to bolster the team’s ranks with the signing of Buchanan, with the player fitting his criteria for new recruits.
Celtic also came into the race but Derby stood firm over their player.
Buchanan extends Derby contract but Forest might pounce after Sunday
It does seem unlikely that Forest will go for Buchanan if they win promotion.
He is still very young, raw and at the moment he is struggling with a few niggling injury problems.
Buchanan is a steady Championship player though and if Sunday doesn’t go to plan, Forest might make a move.
This extension only gives Derby a year’s grace and they still risk losing him for free in 12 months.
Buchanan is far too good for League One and the chance to return to the second tier is surely one he’d grasp.
The 21-year-old would risk the wrath of the Rams faithful by heading to Forest but he has his own career to think about.
Steve Cooper has revived Forest’s fortunes and surely Buchanan would welcome being a part of that project.