Wayne Rooney has admitted it will be ‘very difficult’ to bolster Derby County’s squad ahead of the new season due to the transfer embargo placed on the club by the EFL.
The EFL imposed an embargo after Derby broke financial rules, which initially meant the Rams could not sign any new players.
The restrictions have since been eased to allow Derby to sign up to four more players of ‘professional standing’, with the club being set a maximum limit of 23 squad players going into the new season.
But Rooney has highlighted that only being able to sign free agents on one-year contracts and loan players on six month deals is extremely limiting.
Speaking after the 2-1 loss to Salford City, the Derby manager said: "They have said we can sign four players, but really it's going to be very difficult for us to bring any players in under the circumstances we are in.
"If we can't bring any players in it will be very difficult for me to put a team out to start the first game of the season.
“So, we need help from other people, hopefully that comes, hopefully we can get that because if not we won't be able to compete."
This comes at a turbulent time for the Derby boss, who aside from his off-field troubles, reportedly injured 20-year-old midfielder Jason Knight during training to worsen the situation.
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Knight will be out of action for up to 12 weeks while Krystian Bielik has been ruled out until late in the year.
Meanwhile, Derby are scraping together a squad which may see them sign free agents Curtis Davis, Ravel Morrison and Andre Wisdom, who have been training with the side.
The Rams could end up playing their Championship opener against Huddersfield Town with their current barebones squad of 19.
Whatever happens next, Derby are set for an extremely difficult season.
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