But Clough told BBC Radio Derby he spoke to him at the end of last season.
"He did some pre-season with us but he always knew the situation," Clough said. "That was the reason we didn't give him a squad number. If you don't work it out when you don't get a squad number then you are struggling.
"We had a chat at the end of last season about the situation. Sam Rush [chief executive] was in constant contact with his dad, who works as his representative."
"He came back and played very well at Christmas but... he just gradually knocked down the pecking order.
"He was so unlucky with the injury he got in the first few months. He never really got that long run being injury free, so we never got that extended look at him. He never managed to get that consistency we were looking for."
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