Derby County's horrendous run of form in the second-tier continued last weekend as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Swansea City in the Championship.
The Rams missed out on the chance to relegate fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday and Wycombe Wanderers as a result of their latest setback and now find themselves in a precarious position heading into the final game of the season.
A defeat to the Owls next Saturday would see Derby drop into the third-tier of English football for the first time in 35 years.
However, even if they do manage to pick up all three points in their clash with Wednesday, it still may not be enough as Rotherham United will leapfrog them in the second-tier standings by winning their two remaining fixtures of the season.
Regardless of what division the Rams find themselves in for the upcoming campaign, there is likely to be a major overhaul in terms of their squad this summer due to the fact that a number of their players are out-of-contract.
One of the individuals who is seemingly edging closer to a permanent departure from Derby is Scott Malone.
Making reference to the 30-year-old, who is valued at £1.8m on Transfermarkt, Millwall manager Gary Rowett has revealed that he is in line to extend his stay at the club after impressing during his loan spell.
Speaking to News at Den about the possibility of a deal for Malone, the Lions boss said: "I think we're quite close.
"Scotty's been excellent for us and he's one we'd like to get tied up.
"From the wing-back position, he's scored six goals - that's where with a few more goals elsewhere in the team we'd have been even higher this year.
"He's done his bit and he's been fantastic."
GIVEMESPORT's Joshua Cole says...
When you consider that Malone has featured on 40 occasions for Millwall in the Championship this season, it is hardly a surprise that they are working hard to secure his services for next season.
With his contract set to expire at Derby this summer, it would somewhat of a shock if manager Wayne Rooney decides to keep him at the club given that he only featured on a sporadic basis during the 2019/20 campaign.
Furthermore, having managed provide 10 direct goal contributions in all competitions for Millwall whilst also averaging an impressive WhoScored match rating of 6.94 in the Championship, Malone may not want to return to the Rams if they suffer relegation to League One as he is clearly capable of competing at a higher level.
The defender's departure could end up benefitting both parties as he could continue to play on a regular basis in the second-tier whilst Derby could use the money freed up from their wage bill to draft in some fresh faces during the upcoming transfer window.News Now - Sport News