CRISIS-hit Derby have moved a step closer to salvation with administrators set to name a preferred bidder this week.
Wayne Rooney's side have been in administration for six months and a search for a takeover candidate has been frustrating.
But Quantuma, the company in charge of the Championship club's takeover, believe a preferred bidder will be announced by the end of the week.
Team Derby, made up of Derby City Council, Marketing Derby and local MPs, say they met with the administrators on Monday.
And a statement added: "Quantuma confirmed there are multiple bids and expressions of interest, and are now in the final stages of clarification.
"Quantuma believe they will be in a position to select a preferred bidder for the club by the end of this week.
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"Whilst understanding the complexities, Team Derby shared frustrations about the pace of progress and encouraged Quantuma to move as quickly as reasonable and to continue to communicate with stakeholders.
"It is important to note that alongside the key financial elements of bids there are wider factors to consider to ensure long-term sustainability of the club.
"Community engagement, ensuring the club is welcoming to all and the new owner's commitment, the wider role the club players in people's lives throughout the city and beyond – all of these are crucial factors.
"Our primary concern remains, not only the survival of Derby County, but the impact of this continuing uncertainty on the wider community of Derby and surrounding areas- the fans, communities and businesses – whose passion continues to bring an incredible energy and profile to attempts to save the club."
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Manager Rooney admitted earlier this month that Derby are likely to feel the financial effects of the lengthy process well into next season.
Rooney said his focus was on keeping his relegation battlers in the Championship but admits not being able to sign players is a concern.
The Rams boss said: "What's clear is that there is no preferred buyer and there are things now we simply cannot do – whether that's [maintenance of] the pitch, or arrange new kit.
"Players I want to bring in – you can't even think about it, and it'll go on into next season.
"We're in a critical position and it should've been sorted months ago."
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