Transfer news: Manchester United to launch January bid for Derby County midfielder Will Hughes - reports

Rams boss Steve McClaren has accepted that it will be difficult to hold onto the 18-year-old with interest coming from Premier League clubs
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Manchester United could move in January to sign Derby County midfielder Will Hughes with David Moyes reported to be eager to strengthen his misfiring squad with the England Under-21 international.

Moyes is keen on adding the 18-year-old when the transfer window reopens despite admitting that he is content with his current squad, despite their poor start to the Premier League season. Defeat to West Brom along with the 4-1 drubbing at the hands of bitter rivals Manchester City has seen the reigning Premier League champions get off to their worst start in 24 years.

The victory over Sunderland however relieved Moyes of some of the mounting pressure, although a good start to the Champions League group stage has also provided a welcome distraction as well as the impressive win over Norwich in the Capital One Cup.

Hughes has made a good start to the Championship season, and having made over 50 appearances already for the Rams, he is tipped to be a shining light for England in the not too distant future.

Derby boss Steve McClaren, who replaced the dismissed Nigel Clough last month, has admitted that it will be a struggle to hold onto Hughes in January as bigger clubs come knocking for his services.

“Our job is to make sure he makes it,” admitted McClaren, who got his Rams managerial career off to a good start since taking over from Clough.

“Eventually he will be too good. What we need behind that is players coming through to replace him.”

Hughes has scored three times this season to attract further attention, although he had to pull out of Gareth Southgate’s Under-21 squad due to injury, missing the wins over against San Marino and Lithuania.

He joined the Derby Academy in 2011, going on to make his first-team debut later that season after catching the eye of Clough with his performances for the reserve side.