Latest on Derby County offer tabled for Sheffield Wednesday striker after 'excessive demands' report

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Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday are set to remain in contact over a potential deal for Michael Smith, though The Star understands there may be a great deal of negotiation to be done if it is to come to fruition.

Reports from BBC Derbyshire last week suggested Derby had tabled a loan offer to Wednesday that had included a 'significant contribution' to Smith's wages. The Star believes these reports to be true. A deal would reunite the target man with his former Rotherham United manager Paul Warne and give the Rams a huge boost with Smith stepping back into the division from which he has been promoted in his last two seasons.

The BBC report also suggested Wednesday had demanded an 'excessive fee' on top of the wage contribution to release him to the Pride Park club for the rest of the campaign.

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The Star understands that Wednesday are open to keeping Smith on at the club but would prefer a permanent deal out this January to a loan if the right deal is there - though, as per the previous reports, offers of a loan fee will also be considered. The Geordie striker is believed to have a year left on his deal beyond this summer and there is not yet a clear indication of what figure the Owls would be looking for either in terms of a loan or permanent move.

Promotion hero Smith was the Owls' top goalscorer last season as the club celebrated a famous play-off success from League One. He has made only three appearances since the start of October, with injury having curtailed his progress. Smith was able to play a part from the bench in their FA Cup third round win over Cardiff City earlier this month, he was an unused substitute at Southampton before being left out of the squad altogether for the visit of Coventry City over the weekend.

Wednesday are in the process of lining up incoming business before the transfer window closes on February 1, with their forward line a particular priority. They missed out on the loan signing of Arsenal youngster Mika Biereth, who ended up in Austria with Sturm Graz, and are understood to be working on further deals behind the scenes in what is a highly competitive market.

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