06:00 Saturday 25 January 2014

Derby County head coach Steve McClaren is eager to extend Manchester United defender Michael Keane's loan deal

Written bySTEVE NICHOLSON

KEEN ON KEANE . . . Steve McClaren is eager to retain the services of Michael Keane, whose loan move from Manchester United expires next week KEEN ON KEANE . . . Steve McClaren is eager to retain the services of Michael Keane, whose loan move from Manchester United expires next week

STEVE McClaren is keen to extend Michael Keane’s stay but admits the decision is not in Derby County’s hands, writes STEVE NICHOLSON.

Keane’s loan from Manchester United is due to expire after Tuesday’s home game against Yeovil.

Derby want to keep the 20-year-old centre back until the end of the season, but whether or not that happens will be down to United and the player.

Five of Keane’s eight appearances for the Rams have been starts, but he lost his place in the team for last Saturday’s victory over Brighton when skipper Richard Keogh returned from a five-match absence with a knee injury.

Keogh and Jake Buxton are the current first-choice pairing in central defence, which pushes Keane back to the bench.

“We have got him to the Yeovil game and then it is up to Manchester United and himself to make the decision – but we definitely want to keep him to the end of the season,” said McClaren.

Derby will look at the loan market again if Keane returns to United.

“I hope that Michael can see he will get games here, that his development will carry on at a good level,” said McClaren.

“I think it (centre back) is an area in which we have to look if we lose Michael.

“Hopefully we can keep him.”

Andre Wisdom, a central defender who is playing right back for Derby, is fit to face Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park today, kick-off 3pm.

Wisdom limped off with a tight hamstring in the Brighton game a week ago.

The 20-year-old has been ever-present since he signed on loan from Liverpool in October.

Striker Johnny Russell is also available after fracturing a cheekbone in the game against Wigan Athletic on New Year’s Day.

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