LEEDS UNITED boss Brian McDermott is expected to intensify his efforts in the coming days to bring in a new striker – with young Manchester United frontman Will Keane the latest name to be linked with a move.
McDermott, whose side return to Championship action at home to Birmingham City on Sunday, was reportedly at the Red Devils’ Carrington training ground on Thursday to watch the England U21 forward for their reserves in a behind-closed-doors friendly against the Blues.
Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers are also interested in the 20-year-old.
Stockport-born Keane, who was sidelined for the whole of last season after rupturing his cruciate ligaments, has found the net regularly since returning to action for the Old Trafford side’s under-21 side.
A loan spell in the Football League is set to be the next step in the development of the highly-rated 6ft 2in striker, whose twin brother Michael also plays for the club and who spent a productive temporary stint in the Championship at Leicester City last season – where he scored a late equaliser for the Foxes in the 1-1 draw with Leeds in early March.
Only three other second-tier clubs – Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic and Yeovil Town –have scored fewer league goals than the Whites so far this this term, heightening McDermott’s need to bolster his forward ranks.
He saw a potential move to bring back Elland Road old boy Luciano Becchio rebuffed by Norwich City earlier this month, with United chairman Salah Nooruddin having promised McDermott funds to bring in loan recruitments and given him clearance to do so.
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Ryan Hall’s loan spell at Sheffield United will be completed this weekend, contrary to reports that it had already expired.
It had been thought that the 25-year-old’s 28-day temporary stint finished after the Blades’ 3-2 loss at Northampton Town on Sunday, but he is available for the club’s home clash with Port Vale at the weekend.
But Hall’s future could be in limbo again following the Valiants clash with it remaining to be seen whether managerless United opt to try and re-sign him on a temporary basis once their managerial situation is resolved.
Hall had recently spoken openly about remaining with the Blades ahead of David Weir’s axing after just 13 games in charge with his Elland Road future appearing uncertain.
The 25-year-old has started three matches for the South Yorkshiremen and made a further two substitute appearances in a personally productive loan spell, despite the Blades’ toils at the foot of the League One table.
Immediately following his move down the M1, McDermott revealed that he was not ‘writing off’ Hall’s chances of a renaissance with Leeds.
Although as it stands, Hall has featured just once under McDermott - as a late substitute against Watford on the final day of last season - with the Blades beating off interest from League One rivals and South Yorkshire neighbours Rotherham United to sign him last month.
Speaking about his situation recently, Hall said: “I haven’t had a shot under Brian McDermott. He has come in and I just haven’t had no game-time.
“(Neil) Warnock brought me in, I played a few games - obviously I didn’t play as much as I expected - then Brian McDermott came in and that was it.
“The manager said to me I was a bit down the pecking order at Leeds. He’s got Ross McCormack in front of me, El-Hadji Diouf who is not playing (then), so he said: ‘I advise you to go out and get some games.
“A few clubs came in, but I didn’t think it was right, but then Sheffield United came in and I thought yes, I will go here.
“If I so well here, something might come of it. Hopefully I get to stay on.”
Former Whites boss Kevin Blackwell has been sacked by League Two strugglers Bury following a run of poor results.
The Shakers are without a win in their last six outings and sit 21st in the Sky Bet League Two table.
Ex-Whites forward Mike Grella has signed for Danish Superliga side Viborg FF after a successful trial.
Having featured in two reserve games during his fortnight with the club, the American has now put pen to paper on a contract for the rest of the season
After leaving Scunthorpe United in the summer, Grella returned to his home land but failed to secure a deal with either DC United or New York Cosmos, with whom he spent spells training with.