The Rams, who are in need of an attacking midfielder are looking at bringing Senegalese international Papa Bouba Diop to Pride Park, after he was told by Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez that he can leave the club, Diop is now considering his options, with the Rams at the head of the list.
The likes of Portsmouth, Newcastle, Sunderland and Birmingham are keen – but the Rams are in pole position with Billy Davies looking to strengthen his squad, and with the Rams in their first season in the Premiership for five years an experienced campaigner is on top of Davies shopping list.
The midfield said: “I told the new manager in the summer I wanted a new challenge and now he has said yes.
‘I have many offers and I am just waiting. I will stay in England in the Premier League. I have had a good pre-season and I’m ready. I’m just waiting.
‘I don’t know if it will be anyone like Arsenal or Manchester United but I have good teams in England interested and I must wait. I don’t want to say who they are yet.
‘But I do expect to have left Fulham by the time the transfer window closes.
‘I want a fresh challenge. And now the clubs know how much money Fulham want. But I don’t have any control over that. I am just focused on my job.’
Diop started his career in the UK with Fulham brilliantly, scoring a 35-yard thunderbolt on his home debut against Manchester United, and a 20-yard strike on his away debut, against local rivals Chelsea (the derby ended 1 – 0 to Fulham).
He also scored a last-minute header, away at West Brom, to guarantee three points for Fulham, and another season in the Premiership. He has currently played 78 games for Fulham, scoring 4 goals. He was also the captain of the 2006/2007 season, after replacing Brian McBride, during which he was instrumental in helping Fulham avoid relegation.