SPORT NEWS
Blackman in talks with Jordi Cruyff

DERBY County striker Nick Blackman could be signing for Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Blackman has been spotted in Tel Aviv with Maccabi boss Jordi Cruyff.

And media reports this week stated he was in talks with the Israeli giants to sign on loan.

The 27-year-old Mancunian, who was educated at the city’s King David junior and high schools, represented Great Britain at the 2005 Maccabiah Games.

He would not count as a foreign player should he sign for Maccabi, due to being Jewish.

He also qualifies for Poland and Holland through his mother and Barbados due to his father.

Blackman started his career at Macclesfield Town before he was signed by then-Premier League side Blackburn Rovers in 2009.

But he made just one appearance for the Lancastrians and was loaned out to Blackpool, Oldham Athletic, Motherwell and Aberdeen.

Two years later, he moved to Sheffield United, where his 11 goals in 28 games caught the eye of Reading, who paid £1.3 million to take him to Berkshire.

He scored his first goal for Reading from the penalty spot at Bolton Wanderers.

His manager at the time, Nigel Adkins, told the Jewish Telegraph after the match that Reading were a perfect fit for the young striker.

Blackman then signed for Derby in January, 2016.

But since manager Paul Clement was sacked, he has struggled for game time and has scored just once in 21 games.

He missed much of last season following knee surgery and he didn’t feature much in pre-season friendlies because of a thigh problem.

Boss Gary Rowett told BBC Radio Derby: “We feel we need to get Nick playing some football for his own sanity.

“We will see what happens. He has only gone to speak to them and it might be that he doesn’t want to go there.”

Overall in his career, Blackman has played 233 league and cup matches, scoring 51 goals.

Maccabi, who are currently trying to win a place in the UEFA Europa League group stage, were unavailable for comment when contacted by Sportsworld yesterday.

Meanwhile, contrary to various media reports, former England manager Steve McClaren will not be joining Maccabi.

McClaren, who has also managed Middlesbrough, FC Twente, Wolfsburg, Newcastle United and Derby County, among others, had been linked with a role at the Israeli club in a consultancy role.

However, he told The Scottish Sun yesterday: “I am not committed to going anywhere.

“I’m still an out-of-work manager looking to get back into the game.”


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