JORDON Ibe and Ryan Shotton still feature strongly on Derby County's radar as head coach Steve McClaren looks to bolster his squad ahead of the transfer window closing.
Derby want to sign Ibe on loan and are thought to be leading the race for the 18-year-old Liverpool winger.
Shotton, a versatile player in defence or midfield, is in the final year of his contract at Stoke City, who have confirmed there is interest from Derby.
"Ryan is at the point of his career where he wants more opportunities," said Stoke boss Mark Hughes.
"I have not been able to give him the opportunities and we have come to a view that for his career to start going in the right direction rather than limbo, he will need to move on.
"Derby would be a good option as they are a good club."
McClaren would not be drawn on whether or not Ibe and Shotton could soon become Derby players.
"We are always looking to improve, and looking at players who can improve us, not just in the transfer window but also the loan market," he said.
McClaren has said whoever does land Ibe on loan, will have a very good player.
Ibe has also been linked with a move to Bolton Wanderers but the Rams now appear to be in pole position to sign him.