Gary Rowett closing in on Derby County job after 'positive' talks with the club

The former Birmingham City manager looks almost certain to replace Steve McLaren at Pride Park

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Gary Rowett looks set to take over at Derby County after "very positive" talks with the club's chairman, Mel Morris, on Monday morning.

The former Birmingham City boss, who was sacked by the Blues' new owners earlier this season, is expected to be in charge for this weekend's East Midlands derby with Nottingham Forest after lengthy discussions that The Independent understands were "very positive and productive."

County chairman Morris sacked former England manager Steve McClaren on Sunday after a 3-0 defeat to Brighton. The loss saw them slide 10 points adrift of the playoff places.

​Rowett's reputation as one of the country's finest young managers was forged at Burton Albion, who he helped into the Championship. 

The 43-year-old then impressed at Birmingham before being inexplicably sacked and replaced by Gianfranco Zola. 

Zola's troubled reign has taken them from seventh position - just three points off second place - down into a relegation battle and he is now fighting for his future after just two wins in his fourteen games in charge.