The 20-year-old is due to be out of contract at Northampton and the League Two side insisted the respective clubs' valuations of Jacobs are 'a million miles away'.
If a fee cannot be agreed, the matter would be settled by a tribunal, although Northampton have suggested various other clubs are interested in Jacobs.
Blackpool, Watford and Ipswich have previously been linked with bids for the winger but Derby chief executive Tom Glick is hopeful Jacobs will arrive at Pride Park.
Glick said: "He continues to be a player we are interested in and if we could bring Michael to Derby, that would be great and we're certainly hopeful that we can achieve that.
"We feel we have the situation under control and we're optimistic about our ability to reach a positive conclusion.
"We're in touch with Northampton, yes, and we'll just have to wait and see how things evolve.
"It's too early to talk about anything like a tribunal at this stage."