Date: 22nd August 2015 at 8:05am
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Derby County are reportedly ready to lodge a £2.5m bid for Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Dale Stephens.

After becoming seemingly frustrated with their pursuit of Huddersfield Town’s Jacob Butterfield, which the Rams had a third bid rejected yesterday, boss Paul Clement has switched his attentions to signing the 25-year-old instead.

18 July 2015 - Pre-Season Friendly - Northampton Town v Derby County - Paul Clement, Manager of Derby County - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Stephens, who arrived at the Amex Stadium from Charlton Athletic only last January, scored just two goals in 16 Championship appearances for the Seagulls last season.

However; with Derby desperate to bring in a new central midfielder before the close of the transfer window, the former Droylsden star has emerged as the club’s new preferred target.

Injuries to Will Hughes, Jeff Hendrick, Jamie Hanson and Craig Bryson has given manager Clement an early season dilemma, although he is reluctant to meet the £5m price tag of Huddersfield’s Butterfield.

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