Despite ongoing cost-cutting measures at Pride Park, Derby boss Nigel Clough has reportedly being told that he must raise £1.8million for the club when the January transfer window opens, and in an interview with the BBC earlier today, Clough was asked to comment on Liverpool's interest in 17-year old Hughes. He said:
"[LFC] Scouts come to watch him but we haven’t had any firm bids.
"If an offer comes in we’ll look at it and see if it’s in the best interests of the club.
"It's inevitable that he'll attract attention. It’s good for us because it means we’re doing well if Premier League clubs are looking at him.
"We'll try and hang onto him, and I hope we can ward off the attention"
£4m-rated Hughes made his debut for England U21 team on Tuesday. He came on as as a 65th-minute substitute for Josh McEachran, becoming the second youngest player to get capped for the U21s.
Derby youth academy director Darren Wassall praised Hughes after his call-up to the England U21 side. He enthused:
"It's a great achievement to get in at 17 and we are all delighted for him. To make that rise into the Under-21s so soon is fantastic for him and everyone at the club.
"For a 17-year-old to be playing in the first team of a Championship side is very unusual. I bet there are not many 17-year-olds playing at the level Will is week in, week out."
Hughes' current contract expires in 2015.
And who can forget Clough's finest hour in a Liverpool shirt? The Reds were 3-0 down at home to Manchester United, and Clough grabbed two great goals to drag the club back into the game (which ultimately ended 3-3):