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Frank Lampard confirms Derby County are close to signing Efe Ambrose

Derby County boss Frank Lampard has confirmed that the club are close to landing the signature of Efe Ambrose on a free transfer. The Nigeria international has been training with the Rams after terminating his contract with Hibernian in January and he appears on course to experience his first taste of English football.

Speaking to reporters, Lampard was pleased with the character of the Nigeria international, who has previously won four Scottish Premiership titles with Celtic. He added that the versatile defender is not entirely up to shape and he may take some time to make an appearance irrespective of signing for the Championship side.

"I have found him very nice, very good, very friendly, so as a character I think he would be great for us anyway. I watched a lot of him, I know his strengths. He is a tall defender, very committed, wants to play on the ball, and quick. It is just about making sure about his level of fitness and that both sides are happy it is going to work. Now we are talking about Efe Ambrose, who hasn't been playing, so that will be a challenge but if it feels a challenge worth taking to improve the squad, I have no fears about doing it," he said.

“Ambrose had caught the attention of the likes of Nottingham Forest, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday“ but the prospect of featuring under Lampard seems to have urged him to the Rams. Nonetheless, he can’t expect regular game time “upon signing for them“, though he could prove a vital figure for the team as they push for Premier League promotion after more than a decade.

Derby are currently just outside of the playoff positions on goal difference but they have a game on hand to make amends. For the weekend, they are scheduled to entertain Hull City in their home patch and the match should be tricky, given the Yorkshire outfit have been scoring for fun and average more than two goals over the past five league matches on the road.