HEAD of football operations, Chris Evans, hopes his recent scouting mission to Argentina bears fruit for Derby County in the near future.
Evans spent eight days in the South American country and watched 16 teams including Boca Juniors, River Plate and reigning champions San Lorenzo.
He went to watch one or two targets, without wanting to reveal names, and says he returned with a portfolio of different players.
Derby are looking to cast their net far and wide.
“I think for Derby County, if we are going to get to where we want to be, then the pond we fish in has to be an ocean,” said Evans.
“We know the top players in the Argentinian national team are playing in Europe but they have a lot of good players in Argentina, and there are ones there who have got Euorpean passports.
“Derby County does not need selling, these players will want to play for Derby County.
“Without going into too much detail, I felt it was a very worthwhile trip and I hope to have it bear fruit in the near future.
“There were one or two targets I wanted to see but you are not only judged on who you bring in but on who you keep away, and one I went to see was not for us.”
Rams head coach Steve McClaren visited South America when he worked at Dutch club FC Twente.
“You can pick up very good players, the kind of players we are looking for to actually make a difference in our team, to excite,” said McClaren.
“For that, sometimes you have to go even outside of Europe.
“There is no harm in casting the net.”
Derby have today announced a new recruitment structure and staff to work with Evans.
The new appointments are Derek Bragg (chief scout), former Rams defender Mo Camara (head of European scouting), Jamie Johnson (head of UK scouting) and Joe McClaren (head of Under-21 recruitment).
On taking up his post in November, Evans stressed the importance of developing a UK, European and global recruitment structure at the club.
“We have worked hard to put that in place,” he said.
SWEDISH international defender Mikael Dyrestam (pictured) is believed to be on Derby County’s radar.
The 22-year-old full back was on the verge of joining Bolton Wanderers before the move collapsed.
Now Derby could make a move for the player who was thought to have watched them beat Bournemouth at the iPro Stadium on Saturday.
Dyrestam is a free agent after leaving IFK Gothenburg last year.
He was at IFK six years and so the Swedish club is owed a development fee believed to be in the region of £300,000, which was thought to be the stumbling block in a proposed move to Bolton.
Born in Guinea, Dyrestam played 67 times for IFK and has been capped twice by Sweden. He has also represented Sweden at under-19 and under-21 levels.
He has battled his way back from a serious knee injury.
Derby’s under-21 away game at Coventry City has been rearranged for Friday, March 21. The game will be played at Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium.