Martin Albrechtsen has agreed a deal with Derby County after failing to secure a new and improved contract at West Bromwich Albion.
The 28-year-old, who will leave on a Bosman free transfer, could be replaced by Sheffield Wednesday’s 20-year-old centre-back Mark Beevers as part of a £3?million deal.
Manager Tony Mowbray said: “The era of Bosman means the incentives offered by clubs to out-of-contract players are often decisive in whether a player stays or leaves.
“I’d like to thank Martin for his contribution last season and wish him all the best in his new challenge.“We will continue in our bid to find new faces to strengthen the squad for the season ahead.”
Rams’ manager Paul Jewell confirmed: “A deal has been agreed for Albrechtsen. It is a good deal for us, he is coming on a free transfer.
“He can play at right-back and at left-back, he has good pace and he will give us even more competition for the centre-half position.”
Jewell suggested the Danish defender, a regular in Albion’s first team last season making 41 appearances, could prove the first of four more signings for the Coca-Cola Championship club before the new season.
One of them may still be Kevin Phillips, currently in the latter stages of negotiations over a new deal to stay The Hawthorns.
The Post revealed that Derby were interested in the striker and Jewell, notably, is yet to rule out a move. He is also closely monitoring the progress of Ferrie Bodde, the Swansea midfielder.
The Dutchman has also been linked with the Baggies this summer, which has not been the most fruitful of times for the club so far.
Having lost Zoltan Gera to Fulham, reserve team coach Craig Shakespeare to Leicester City and long-term target Paddy McCourt to Celtic the club has much strengthening to do ahead of the new Premier League season.
With Albion chairman Jeremy Peace having reiterated his desire to complete the majority of the club’s transfer business before the new season begins July promises to be a hectic month, especially now a replacement for Albrechtsen, a regular at the heart of Albion’s defence last season, has been added to his lengthening list of targets.
Also high among Peace’s priorities is finding a new shirt sponsor after the club’s deal with T-Mobile, the communications company, expired.