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Stern John is wanted by Derby County to replace Grzegorz Rasiak as the focal point of their attack.

Phil Brown has confirmed that the Rams are in talks with Coventry City over the possibility of signing the Trinidad and Tobago striker.

He is likely to come on a three-month loan with a view to a permanent deal when the transfer window reopens in January.

Derby want the 28-year-old ex-Nottingham Forest player in place before Sunday's home Championship clash against Southampton.

Coventry visit Pride Park on Wednesday but John would not be eligible to play against his current club if the deal does go through.

"I'm very hopeful Stern will be a Derby player by this weekend," said Brown.

"Negotiations are ongoing and obviously we cannot buy the player at this stage, we have to loan him."

John has scored 12 goals in 39 appearances for Coventry but has not held down a regular starting place this season.

He was not involved in the Sky Blues' 1-1 draw with Reading on Saturday.

John joined Coventry from Birmingham City in a £200,000 deal a year ago and his first club in England was Forest, who splashed out £1.5m on the player when he was at American club Columbus Crew.

His record in this country reads 198 games, 62 as a substitute, and 53 goals.

Derby chased John's signature at the end of the 2003-04 season.

He was with Birmingham at the time and stalling over a new contract because the club had spent £6.25m on Emile Heskey from Liverpool.

Brown and director of football Murdo Mackay searched for loan signings last week but failed to deliver new faces despite confident predictions of arrivals before yesterday's 1-1 draw at Crewe.

They were close to landing tough-tackling midfielder Aliou Cisse from Portsmouth but the Sengal international is currently recovering from a thigh strain.

"I'm still interested in the player," said Brown.

"It is an unfortunate situation where Cisse is concerned because he is injured at the moment. We will know more in a week's time.

"Hopefully we can bring in two or three players this week."

Marcus Tudgay, making his first League start of the season, led the attack at Crewe, where Morten Bisgaard's second-half equaliser gave the Rams a point and lifted them to 10th in the Championship.