DAVE Martin looks almost certain to join Derby next week on loan after Lions boss Kenny Jackett revealed the winger will not feature against Norwich on Saturday.

Martin was due to join the Rams on Monday but was unable to agree terms before the 5pm transfer deadline.

However, Derby bosss Nigel Clough has already said he is hopeful of completing a season-long loan next week and his opposite number at The Den now seems almost resigned to the Pride Park switch going ahead.

Jackett said: “The deal couldn’t be completed time wise by 5pm on Monday, there just wasn’t enough time and these things happen.

“For whatever reason, everything that needed to be completed unfortunately couldn’t be done.

“We reluctantly accepted the bid because we haven’t been able to get Dave to sign a new contract this year, so unfortunately halfway through the season we have to take what we can because we would lose him for nothing in the summer.

“From our point of view there is an offer of a contract on the table for the player.

“It obviously hasn’t been accepted and he isn’t going to sign it, so the next thing is after that if there is a bid then reluctantly we will take it.

“Dave will not be involved in the Norwich game.”

Jackett spoke publicly of his desire to keep hold of Martin last week once it became clear Derby were preparing a bid.

The player has been mulling over a contract offer from the Lions for some time now but his failure to sign it appears to have finally broken Jackett’s patience.

He explained: “It is quite a complicated situation but the bottom line is we haven’t been able to get him to put pen to paper, which is a frustration because myself and the coaching staff have put a lot of work into him over the last couple of years.

“From taking him out of Crystal Palace reserves, where he wasn’t seeing any daylight first team wise, we’ve worked very hard with him.

“But that’s the way it is and we have to move on by doing the best for the club, which means taking the money we can get for him and moving on after that.

“The other side of it is we come to a situation where he either wants to stay with us or he doesn’t.

“If he doesn’t, then I need to get on to the next player and that’s the most important thing for Millwall Football Club.

“We will have to see what happens next week because it has been a saga quite frankly, but after that it doesn’t take a genius to see where we are short in terms of competition cover.”