Steve McClaren has confirmed he hopes to keep Michael Keane at Derby County beyond his current loan deal, which expires after 1 January.
The England Under-21 international joined the Rams from Manchester United last month, and has gone on to make five appearances. Indeed, the 2-1 win over Barnsley on Saturday means he has never been on the losing side for his temporary club.
Keane is due to return to Old Trafford after the New Year’s Day match with Wigan Athletic, but his chances of forcing his way into David Moyes’s side this season are minimal. For this reason, he admits he would welcome extending his Pride Park stay.
“I would definitely be interested in staying,” the 20-year-old defender said in the Sunday Mirror. “Obviously, we will have to wait and see what United think. It will also be important to see if I am playing games because that is the most important thing for me.
“But I have enjoyed myself here and if that is still the case and I keep playing football then I would love to stay. There is a really positive atmosphere here with all the good results and so much talent in the squad that it is a pleasure to be part of.”
Derby’s 2-1 win at Oakwell, together with Burnley and Queens Park Rangers failing to win, means they head into 2014 occupying an automatic promotion place. When asked about the possibility of keeping Keane to maintain their push for the Premier League, manager McClaren said: “We have said that from day one and, hopefully, we can.”