Derby have been dealt a major blow after David McGoldrick signed a two-year deal at Notts County.

McGoldrick was a key figure for the Rams last season, scoring 25 goals in 45 games and winning the club’s Player of the Season award.

The 35-year-old had been offered a new contract at Pride Park but has opted to return to Meadow Lane, where he spent time as a youngster.

Derby finished seventh in League One last season, narrowly missing out on a play-off spot after losing at Sheffield Wednesday on the final day.

McGoldrick featured in the 2-1 victory against the Whites in January, playing 75 minutes before he was replaced by James Collins.

The former Sheffield United and Ipswich man finished as the third-highest scorer in the division, behind only Jonson Clarke-Harris and Conor Chaplin.

He will now be playing in the fourth tier as the Magpies aim to build on last season’s promotion from the National League.

An official statement read: “We’re over the moon to welcome someone of David’s immense quality and experience.

“He joins us on the back of his best-ever goalscoring season, but anyone who’s followed his career knows his talents extend far beyond his ability in front of goal.

“David’s an incredibly intelligent and intricate footballer who also boasts tremendous physicality, so we believe he can be hugely effective in a number of attacking roles.

“He’s been a leader and top professional at several big clubs, including recently in the Premier League with Sheffield United, and we believe his know-how and willingness to impart knowledge on to younger players will be invaluable.

“As you would suspect, David hasn’t made this decision for financial reasons. His love and respect for the club have brought him home and he’s going to be a talismanic figure as we commence this exciting new chapter.”