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Striker Stern John will become a Derby County player in time for Sunday's home Championship clash with Southampton.

John will arrive on a three-month loan from Coventry City later this week to take full advantage of the 93-day rule.

The later the Trinidad and Tobago international signs, the later he can stay.

If the 28-year-old is registered as a Rams player at noon on Saturday, he can remain at Derby until December 17.

He would then go back to Coventry before joining the Rams permanently once the transfer window reopens in January.

There is little point in registering John earlier because he is unable to play against his current club, Coventry, when they visit Pride Park tomorrow night.

Derby will pay a fee for the player, possibly around £150,000.

He cost Coventry £200,000 from Birmingham City a year ago and has another two years to run on his contract.

John spoke to Rams manager Phil Brown at Moor Farm yesterday.

"Stern looks up for a new challenge," said Brown. "He is a big, powerful lad and we're looking forward to having him in place for the weekend."

Director of football Murdo Mackay added: "We tried very hard to get players in last week and we are very close to bringing in new faces again and the board support that."

The move for John has been ongoing for about a week but had to be put on hold while he was away on international duty.

John, who has also played for Nottingham Forest, was in World Cup action for Trinidad and Tobago last week.

He scored twice in a 3-2 qualifying win over Guatemala and started the 2-0 defeat by Costa Rica.

Derby are keen to make sure business is done properly after the Adrian Heath saga in the summer.

Heath quit as number two at Coventry to become Brown's assistant at Derby but returned to Highfield Road a week later after the two clubs failed to reach an agreement over compensation.

Heath was assistant to Peter Reid when Coventry signed John.

"I don't think Stern has done as well for us as his ability suggests he should," said Heath.

"We have seen glimpses of what he can do but a change might do him good.

"I'm disappointed it has not worked out for him because I thought he would be a terrific asset to the club.

"He will go on loan to Derby with a view to a permanent deal. If it goes through, we will wish him well because you do not like to see a player of his ability struggle."