MX23RW : Wednesday, July 28 11:20:27| >> :120:7094:7094:

Phillip Cocu pessimistic about chances of bringing loanees back to Derby

Harry Wilson, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori starred for the Rams last season.

Derby boss Phillip Cocu believes it will be "very difficult" to bring Harry Wilson, Mason Mount or Fikayo Tomori back to Pride Park.

The three young loan players were pivotal last season as the Rams narrowly missed out on promotion after defeat in the Championship play-off final at Wembley, with defender Tomori being named player of the year.

PA understands Derby have contacted Liverpool about Wilson's availability after the attacker ended the 2018/19 campaign as top scorer with 18 goals.

The 22-year-old Wales international has featured for Liverpool in friendlies against Tranmere and Bradford recently and he has been included in the Reds squad that has travelled to America for a week-long tour.

It remains to be seen whether he will feature in Jurgen Klopp's plans but Derby are understood to have asked to be considered should Liverpool decide to loan out Wilson again.

"If you look at the value of those players to the team last season, it was very big. But it will be very difficult, I think. I won't say impossible, but it will be hard," said Cocu.

"We are still working to strengthen the team and there are a lot of possibilities still. I don't want to name any names yet, but we are trying to get some players in."

Former Derby boss Frank Lampard was pivotal in Tomori and Mount, who has recently signed a new long-term contract at Chelsea and looks to be pushing for involvement in the first team under Lampard at Stamford Bridge, arriving at Pride Park.

His strong Chelsea connections paved the way for their loan deals.

Cocu has strong ties with his former club PSV Eindhoven, having played for them twice and won three Eredivisie titles as manager, but he insists he will not be going down that route to recruit players.

"I don't think I will do that, no," he said. "The league in Holland is different and the style of play is different. Would it be good for this player to play in this physical league that's high tempo?

"You have to consider more than if it is a good player, he has to fit the league you play in. There are some players I really like but they would be expensive and sold for big amounts."

The 48-year-old does plan on using other contacts he has, however.

"Always you use these in football – agents, technical directors or other managers. Whether it is from my time in Holland or at Barcelona.

"But I am not going to tell if I have spoken to someone or not, just yet. We are working hard on players but other clubs have not come to a decision on their players or on their squads yet."

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Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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