Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp has confirmed Derby are keen on signing David Nugent, but insists he does not want to sell the England international.
Nugent's future at Fratton Park has been the subject of intense speculation just weeks after arriving at the club.
The former Preston hit-man has struggled to hold down a place in Redknapp's side with John Utaka, Kanu and Benjani Mwaruwari all ahead of him in the pecking order.
Nugent is thought to be unhappy at not playing more regularly and the news alerted Derby boss Billy Davies who is keen to bolster his attacking options.
Davies is a big fan of Nugent having worked with him during his time in charge at Preston and Redknapp has confirmed Derby have expressed an interest in signing the striker.
However, Redknapp has ruled out selling Nugent and has called on the player to remain patient for his chance to impress at Fratton Park.
Interest"Derby do want to sign him. They'd like him," Redknapp told The News.
"But he's only just joined us and I'm happy to keep him here. He's a young player.
"Obviously he wants to play but at the moment Kanu's been absolutely brilliant, Utaka's a threat and Benjani does well so it's been difficult for David. He has to be patient."