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By ESPN Staff

Derby fails to get work permit for striker Josh Wolff

DERBY, England -- League Championship club Derby failed to get a work permit for United States forward Josh Wolff.

Derby had agreed to a deal with Major League Soccer to sign the player from the Kansas City Wizards, but British immigration officials turned down the club's request for a work permit.

Derby manager Billy Davies had been trying to sign Wolff for five weeks.

The 29-year-old Wolff has 45 caps for the U.S. team and was on the squad for the World Cup in Germany, but didn't get any playing time. He made his international debut in 1999 and played twice at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea.

British immigration rules state a non European player must play 75 percent of his country's internationals in the two years before the work permit application.

"We are especially disappointed as it was Billy's belief that he would have formed the perfect partner for (striker) Steve Howard," Derby managing director Mike Horton said.

Derby is 19th in the 24-team League Championship, the division below the Premier League, with five points after five games.