FOOTBALL: STRIKER Charles Vernam has become Russell Slade’s third loan signing of the transfer window after joining the Sky Blues on loan until the end of the season.
The 20-year-old was expected to move to the Ricoh Arena last week along with fellow Rams defender Farrend Rawson but the deal was put on hold and will be confirmed today because the highly-rated striker was needed as temporary for Steve McClaren’s side at the weekend.
Vernam signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the Championship club back in December last year and has been in fine form for the club’s Under-23s in recent years.
The 20-year-old is a product of the Rams’ Academy and his form for the reserves earned Vernam his first team debut in the FA Cup away at West Brom at the beginning of December.
Slade said: “We’re delighted to finally have Charles in the building. He has an extremely impressive scoring record at U23s level and has been on the verge of Derby’s first-team setup for a while now.
“A number of clubs were monitoring the young striker so we’re especially pleased to have bought him to Coventry City.
“Charles is clever and intelligent with his movement, and is also a clinical finisher. He can play as a No.9 or No.10 and will give us another promising option in attack.”
Slade is still running the rule of over former QPR star Samba Diakite and Cardiff City midfielder Theo Wharton who are both at the club on trial.
Both are expected to play for the club’s under-23s today at home to Crystal Palace at the Alan Higgs Centre and Slade will make a decision on whether to sign them early this week.
Speaking to the Observer last week, Slade said: “I knew Theo during my time at Cardiff and he was a very promising player. He picked up an injury which was unlucky for him be he’s still a young player who I think has a bright future in the game.
“Samba is probably not up to speed fitness wise I’d say but the work he’s done has been beneficial to him. He has got huge pedigree and it wasn’t that long ago when he was a multi-million pound player, but he’s probably just lost his way a little bit.
“Both players will be analysed on Monday when we’ll take a look at them and see how they do against Crystal Palace.
“Of course both players’ fitness is a concern because given our situation we can’t be waiting on them too long to get up to speed, which is another reason why they’re playing on Monday.
Mali international Diakite has been without a club since being released by QPR last summer where he made just 23 league appearances during a four-and-a-half year spell at Loftus Road after joining from French side Nancy
The 27-year-old spent time on loan at Watford and Saudi Premier League side Ittihad and has scored four goals in 19 appearances for Mali.
Wharton came through the youth ranks at Cardiff City and was handed his debut in a 4-2 defeat away at West Brom back in January 2012, but since then his first team opportunities have been limited.
The 22-year-old has made just one other appearance for Cardiff, which came in a 2-1 defeat at Macclesfield in the FA Cup back in January 2013.