The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Paddy von Behr

DERBY County boss Paul Cle­ment ad­mits the Rams had to fight off stiff com­pe­ti­tion to se­cure the sig­na­ture of Nick Black­man.

The 26-year-old striker, who scored 13 goals in 28 games this sea­son for Read­ing, joins for £2.5m on a three-and-a-half year con­tract.

And hav­ing al­ready added Guinea in­ter­na­tional Ab­doul Ca­mara to his at­tack­ing crop this month, Cle­ment be­lieves his squad for the se­cond half of the sea­son is tak­ing shape.

“There has been a lot of in­ter­est in him so we’re nat­u­rally happy that he has cho­sen to join us,” he said.

“We’ve got a num­ber of tal­ented play­ers in the at­tack­ing ar­eas of our squad and Nick only en­hances that.”

Mean­while, Read­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Neil Howe de­fended the club’s de­ci­sion to cash in on their top goal-scorer.

He said:“This deal will also al­low us the chance to po­ten­tially re-in­vest in the first team this month, help­ing the man­ager to bol­ster his squad should the right op­por­tu­ni­ties arise.”

DE­LIGHT: Paul Cle­ment

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