Darren Bent: Derby County to sign striker as recruitment continues

Darren Bent
Bent scored 12 goals in 17 appearances after joining Derby on loan in January

Derby County chief executive Sam Rush says sacking head coach Steve McClaren will not hamper their transfer plans, with striker Darren Bent set to become their first new summer recruit.

Real Madrid assistant boss Paul Clement is expected to replace McClaren but the deal may not happen until next week.

Rush said the club's infrastructure meant the upheaval was not an issue.

"Our recruitment is a stand-alone department, so we are in a very good position," Rush told BBC Radio Derby.

"Clearly the head coach has to be part of that and we are not providing players he doesn't want, but lots of the work is in place."

Ex-England striker Bent, 31, scored 12 goals in 17 appearances after joining Derby on loan in January and will become a free agent when his Aston Villa contract runs out at the end of June.

Rush said head of football operations Chris Evans would continue to work on bringing in new faces.

"When the new head coach is appointed I am sure there will be a good flow of players shortly afterwards," he continued.

"I am confident we will get the recruitment process right in relation to the new head coach and I am confident the squad that will assembled will be a very strong squad.

Paul Clement
Clement joined Real Madrid in 2013 as Carlo Ancelotti's number two and helped the club to Champions League glory in 2014

"Making any change in head coach or manager at a club always has some degree of concern for everyone, but I am confident the right decision has been made.

"We have the great benefit of a super team under contract that only needs fine tuning to enable it be competitive."

Derby led the Championship on 24 February, but won just twice in their final 13 games of the season to finish two places, and one point, adrift of the top six, amid constant speculation that former England boss McClaren would be taking over at Newcastle.