Derby County boss Wayne Rooney has confirmed there is an agreement in place with Manchester United for Teden Mengi to extend his stay at the club.
The 18-year-old joined the club in January and has played seven matches – including five starts – though was an unused substitute in the recent 2-0 victory over Luton Town.
But Rooney says he has been impressed with the player and Derby have explored keeping him next campaign, though the decision now lies with Mengi.
‘Teden will play more games for us, he is a player I am hoping to keep here for next season,’ Rooney told reporters after Friday’s win.
‘He has gone from playing Under-23 football to playing competitive football where there is a lot at stake. ‘He is getting a good amount of minutes, but it is important I protect him as well.’
Asked if he has spoken to the Red devils about keeping Mengi for next campaign, Rooney said: ‘Yes. It is on the player, really.
‘I want to make sure we finish the season strong and then it is a decision for Teden to make. Of course he has to see what Manchester United feelings are on him, and what his feelings are.
‘I feel he has improved a lot and he has shown he can play at this level. Whether he is happy to go back and sit on the bench and play Carabao Cup games or whether he wants to further his experience and play in a very tough league, it is down to Teden.’
On his decision to bench Mengi against Luton, Rooney said: ‘He has been excellent in the games he has played.
‘But what I wanted was to go back to the back four and goalkeeper who have got us a lot of clean sheets from me coming into this job.
‘Of course it was very harsh on Teden, and very harsh on Kelle Roos [who was replaced in goal by David Marshall] but they are decisions I get paid to make and decisions I felt were the right ones.
‘Teden can play in a back three or a back four, I have no problem with playing him in either of those formations. He is young and I think this experience is great for him – playing, being on the bench, being around the first team, it’s a lot of pressure which he has handled really well.’