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July 13, 2011
Paul Collingwood could be in line for a shock move to Derbyshire next season after the club was given permission to speak to him about a deal.
The county tabled a 28-day approach and Durham, who want to keep Collingwood, aren't blocking the attempt to lure him away from the team he has played for throughout his career. Collingwood's name would certainly fit the 'major signing' the new chairman Chris Grant promised.
However, it would be a major surprise to see Collingwood leave Durham after so many years of loyal service and he has always spoken strongly about his links with his native North East.
"We've told Paul we want him to stay," Durham chief executive, David Harker, told the Daily Telegraph. "He has a year left on his contract and we are talking to him all the time about what he wants to do next.
"We are relaxed about the situation. Paul has had a big change from what he was doing with England this summer, and it is only right he has a look at what is out there and what different options there are for him."
It appears that Collingwood's international career is over after he lost the Twenty20 captaincy following his retirement from Test cricket at the end of the Ashes. He was left out of England's recent limited-overs squads against Sri Lanka although has shown some decent county form since returning from knee surgery, including his first Durham hundred since 2005.
Earlier in the season Collingwood said he was enjoying being back in the county game after barely playing for Durham since becoming an England regular.
"All I can say is that so far I've really enjoyed being back at Durham," he told Spin magazine. "I've always felt part of the club - it's where I grew up and learnt the game, after all - but I haven't really felt a part of the team for a few years.
"Since 2005, when I scored quite heavily and forced my way into the England side, I've probably only played a game or two a season. So the prospect of being part of a team that could challenge for the County Championship is very exciting."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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