Former Liverpool prospect Ibe set to join Rooney's Derby on a free transfer

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Jordon Ibe of Bournemouth
Stu Forster/Getty Images
The 24-year-old is to undergo a medical with the Championship club on Monday after agreeing terms on a two-year contract

Former Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe is set to join Derby County on a free transfer.

The 24-year-old is to undergo a medical with the Championship club on Monday after agreeing terms on a two-year contract as he looks to get his career back on track.

Ibe was released by Bournemouth in June and had attracted interest from several clubs, including Swansea, Millwall and Turkish side Besiktas, but he has chosen Derby where he will play alongside former Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney.

The hope is that a move to Pride Park, where he performed well during a loan spell in 2014, will help relaunch a career which promised so much as a teenager but has run off course in recent seasons.

Ibe was tipped as one of the hottest prospects in English football having burst onto the scene as a 15-year-old with Wycombe.

He earned a move to Liverpool, with the Reds paying an undisclosed fee, understood to be around £600,000 ($750,000) to sign him in December 2011.

Ibe made his senior debut for the Reds in a 1-0 win over QPR on the final day of the 2012-13 season and impressed during a loan spell at Birmingham the following campaign.  

He did the same at Derby in 2014-15, scoring five goals in 24 appearances before being recalled by manager Brendan Rodgers and promoted to Liverpool’s first team.

Back at Anfield, Ibe featured regularly for the Reds. He made a total of 58 appearances, scoring four times.  The last of those goals came in his final appearance, a 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion in May 2016.

He was sold to Bournemouth in a £15 million ($19m) deal that summer, but his move to the south coast failed to take off. 

Ibe featured 64 times across his first two seasons with the Cherries but was unable to hold down a regular starting place thereafter. Last season, he made just two Premier League appearances – both as a substitute – with Bournemouth opting not to renew his contract.

There were off-the-field issues too. Ibe was banned from driving for 16 months after crashing his car into a coffee shop in Bromley, south east London and then fleeing the scene. 

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At the court hearing, Ibe’s lawyer Frank Rogers claimed the winger had spent much of his life "cocooned in the artificial world of football", which had left him "not well-educated" and "ignorant of his duties.”

Ibe himself has since spoken of his battle with mental health issues and expressed a desire to get his career back on track.

He will now look to do that in the Championship, where Derby have made a poor start, losing their opening two games. Ibe could make his Rams debut against Blackburn next Saturday.

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