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Page last updated at 18:16 GMT, Thursday, 20 January 2011

Derby County seal deal for Notts County's Ben Davies

Ben Davies
Davies has 18 months to run on his Magpies contract

Derby County have signed Notts County's Ben Davies for an undisclosed fee.

The Magpies rejected three bids from the Rams in the past week and boss Paul Ince was eager to keep the 29-year-old.

But the midfielder handed in a transfer request on Thursday and has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal for a fee thought to be around the £350,000 mark.

Rams manager Nigel Clough said: "We're delighted. He's energetic, can make things happen and we're confident he can step up to the Championship."

Clough added: "His set-pieces are lethal and attract a lot of attention and rightly so, but he has plenty more to his game.

"But, we have said for some time now we've not had a player on our books that can consistently deliver a quality set-play, and Ben certainly has the ability to do that."

Ince had earlier told BBC Radio Nottingham he was unhappy at the prospect of losing Davies.

"I said to him 'I don't want you to go, you're part of my plans'," Ince said. "It's sad but sometimes you cannot do anything about it."

Derby first expressed an interest in Davies, who had 18 months left on his contract, at the start of the season.

They returned with an improved bid on Monday but Magpies chairman Ray Trew said that was still nowhere near his valuation.

A third offer on Wednesday was thought to be much closer to Notts' initial valuation - which was believed to be around £500,000.

Dr Gonzo

And while the fee is has not reached the full asking price, Ince was reluctant to try to keep hold of an unsettled player.

Ince added: "I can understand where Ben is coming from; he is 29 and has a great opportunity to play in the Championship.

"He's a been a fantastic player and a fantastic pro but it annoys me that he has to go to this length to get away from the club."

Davies joined Notts County from Shrewsbury on a three-year deal in July 2009.

He scored 16 goals in their League Two title-winning campaign last season.

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