Stoke, however, were left frustrated on that occasion and turned to Paul Lambert, who was unable to steer the club away from relegation, winning only two of his 15 matches, which prompted the Stoke board to let him leave on Friday.
A Derby statement said: "Derby County Football Club can confirm that Gary Rowett has asked for permission to speak with Stoke City regarding the vacant manager's position". There are not many opportunities to manage in the Premier League and everyone wants to do that.More news: Baltimore County police officer wounded in Perry Hall has died
It will still be a big call for Rowett, who has served the Rams as a player, coach and manager and still lives in the area.
Stoke are close to appointing Gary Rowett as their new manager after agreeing to pay the £1.8m compensation fee.More news: Detained Iranian British woman now accused of 'spreading propaganda'
Should Stoke come calling this summer then the 44-year-old will have a big decision to make.
Rowett is believed to be keen on the possibility of moving to Stoke due to fears he will have to cut the wage bill of the Derby squad to ensure they are within Financial Fair Play rules for the coming season.More news: Mexican authorities probe charter company in Cuban disaster
Rowett was top of Stoke's list in the New Year, yet opted to stay at Pride Park as negotiations over a new contract were advanced, subsequently guiding Derby to the Championship play-offs.