DUKE AND KRIS TO JOIN DERBY
Written byTOM SLOAN
Ellington should sign for the Rams today after the club agreed a fee believed to be around £1.5 million for the striker with Watford, while winger Commons is due to sign a three-year contract at Pride Park tomorrow after he was released by Nottingham Forest.
Ellington, 26, nicknamed 'the Duke' after legendary jazz pianist Duke Ellington, was a key part of Jewell's Wigan team which reached the Premier League in the 2004-05 season, scoring 24 goals in 45 games and forming a deadly partnership with Jason Roberts.
However, he found life in the top flight more difficult after signing for West Bromwich Albion for £3m, scoring just five times in 33 games.
The striker also struggled at Watford this season following a £3.25m move and only netted four goals in 18 starts and 16 substitute appearances in the Championship.
However, Jewell will hope that the striker can rediscover his form back under the manager for whom he scored 67 goals in 150 games.
Commons, meanwhile, has been one of the worst kept transfer secrets of the summer and is tomorrow due to become the first player since full-back Gary Charles in July, 1993, to make the move from Nottingham Forest to the Rams.
Mansfield born, Commons started his career at Stoke City and overcame a serious knee injury before earning a move to the City Ground for a fee of £300,000 in July, 2004.
He has made 157 appearances for Forest, scoring 38 goals - an impressive record for a player who has only occasionally played at centre-forward.
He left the City Ground last week after his contract expired and will join the Rams on a Bosman free transfer.
Meanwhile, one player who could be headed in the opposite direction is Robert Earnshaw, who is now mulling over a £2.5m move to Forest after his return from holiday.
The 28-year-old striker, who only scored two goals for the Rams after a record-breaking £3.5m move from Norwich City, needs to get his career back on track after a nightmare season in which he lost his place in the Wales squad.
Former Welsh international striker John Hartson said: "He has to get himself a club where he will score goals like he did at Cardiff and Norwich.
"If he does, I think John Toshack will then look at him and it's just one of those where he can't ignore him."
Earnshaw could be joined at Forest by young defender Lewin Nyatanga, who looks set to leave Pride Park. Barnsley are also still interested in the Burton-born centre-half or left-back, who is valued at £300,000.
Rams transfer target Ferrie Bodde has remained phisophical over the club's interest in him.
The 26-year-old Dutch midfielder, currently at Swansea City, was the subject of a £500,000 bid from Derby which was dismissed as a joke by the Welsh club.
However, Jewell is still keen on the player, who has refused to rule out a move to join the Rams.
He said: "You never know what will happen in football. When you don't know what is on offer, you can never decide anything for certain.
"Until this moment in time, nothing has happened and I am happy with that. My agent is handling everything for me anyway.
"I have heard about Derby's interest but it is not something I think about. Unless the clubs agree a deal, I don't need to.
"At the moment, I don't want to know anything more about it."
Watford left-back Jordan Stewart is also due to sign for Derby this week on a Bosman free transfer after leaving Vicarage Road.