Richard Keogh: Derby County CEO 'optimistic' about new deal

Derby County chief executive Sam Rush is confident captain Richard Keogh will stay with the Rams, as contract talks with the player start next week.

Republic of Ireland defender Keogh, 28, who has made 103 appearances for Derby, is in the final year of his contract.

With striker Chris Martin the latest to agree a new deal, retaining Keogh is now the Rams' focus.

"I'm absolutely optimistic. We have secured everyone so far, Richard is the last one," Rush told BBC Radio Derby.

"I'm sure he wont want to be the last one for too long."

Former Bristol City and Carlisle man Keogh joined Derby from Coventry City in July 2012 and was heavily linked to a move to Premier League side Burnley in the latest transfer window.

New Derby County deals

Craig Bryson, five years

Craig Forsyth, four years

Jamie Ward, two years

Will Hughes, four years

Jake Buxton, three years

Jeff Hendrick, four years

"Richard knows how highly we regard him at the club and we look forward to sitting down when he gets back from international duty," said Rush.

Martin, who is yet to sign his extended deal with Derby despite agreeing to it before their 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town on Saturday, follows players such as Craig Bryson and Will Hughes in negotiating lengthy terms.

Likewise, Derby boss Steve McClaren and his backroom staff also signed new three-year contracts last month.

"That is very important because we now have them committed long term to the club and we think that will be very positive," said Rush.