Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson will look to bring in a winger on loan next week – but has been knocked back in his pursuit of Everton youngster Magaye Gueye.
The 22-year-old Premier League player, who can also play as a striker, has impressed Toffees manager David Moyes, who wants to keep the Frenchman at Goodison Park.
Wilson admitted he had been trailing former Strasbourg youngster Gueye, who represented Senegal at this summer’s Olympics – he is eligible through his parents – where the African nation reached the quarter-finals stage.
But he added: “It’s gone nowhere, he’s not available.”
The Blades are in the market for a right winger after the transfer deadline day departure of Stephen Quinn to Hull City.
Midfielder Ryan Flynn put in a match-winning shift on the right in the 5-3 defeat of Bournemouth last weekend, scoring twice, but Wilson is looking to increase his squad options.
Two players who are not on United’s radar, despite speculation this week, are Manchester United’s young midfielder Larnell Cole and former Reading and USA international goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann.
Striker Dave Kitson is one new addition for the Blades but Wilson has ruled him out of today’s League One trip to Scunthorpe United.
The Blades manager believes the former Reading striker can help develop young forwards John Cofie and Nick Blackman.
“It’s always important to keep a fine balance in the team, and with one or two leaving the club, to replace them or bring someone in with a little bit of experience is paramount,” said Wilson.
“People may look at the match on Saturday and think we didn’t miss Quinn much but you do miss someone of the quality of Stephen’s nature.”
While Quinn’s departure was necessary to get one of the Blades’ biggest earners off the books, following a narrow failure to win a swift promotion back to the Championship, Wilson also revealed the midfielder wanted to return to a higher level.
“Any team up and down the country would always relish keeping your better players but we have said many times before this is a situation which everybody is aware of.
“There’s no hidden agenda anywhere as to why he has gone, we know why it is, and in fairness to Stephen, too, he wanted to play in the Championship, minimum. From a club’s point of view we found it difficult to stand in his way.
“But what I will say he is a very difficult player to replace. Have we got the same type of player at the club? No, we haven’t. But we have to address it in a different way, maybe change formations. Try to get players playing to their strengths.”
With the loan window opening today, Wilson will assess any injuries or suspensions from today’s game at Scunthorpe before making his move in the loan market for a winger.
“We will have to see what transpires in terms of what we need against what is available,” Wilson said.
“We go into the loan market requiring one particular position and all of a sudden something happens in your team and another position becomes the priority.
“We will just have to see. We will get this weekend out of the way, hopefully injury and suspension-free, and we can address it then.
“We need to look at the wide areas. Stephen could play in a number of positions and Ryan Flynn came in and did that on the right-hand side,” added Wilson.
“We have not possibly got out-and-out right wingers, we are playing midfield players there.
“So maybe that will be an area where we will have a look at.
“We are just hoping that is the only position we are looking for in the next few weeks.”
Striker Cofie, on loan from Manchester United, has scored in successive games, spectacular efforts against Bournemouth last weekend and at Colchester United.
Wilson is hoping work on the training ground can help develop the poaching skills of the youngster – the only loan player at Bramall Lane at the moment.
“Listen, he’s 19 years old, he’s not going to have every attribute you want from a player otherwise he wouldn’t be playing for us at this level. But the one thing about John is he is very much a willing learner. Coming from Manchester United there is always a possibility that he can maybe have a little strut. John is quite the opposite.
“He works his tail off in training and listens to what the coaches and management say. He understands the areas where he needs to tighten up on.
“But we are going to be patient with him, we are not pushing too much down his throat at any one given time that he can’t take everything on board. We are trying to be slow with him, be deliberate, and, hopefully, it will pay dividends.”
The Blades drew 1-1 at the Iron last season and Wilson expects another tough battle against Alan Knill’s side, who have yet to pick up a point from their first four League One matches.
“They have lost all their games, not scored many goals, no points to show,” said Wilson. “That’s dangerous, in my opinion. I know Alan Knill very well, I know some of his players very well, and they are more than capable of putting up a game against anybody. All the reports we have had on them this season have said they have been very good, until the first goal went in.
“It’s a derby game, in mileage terms, so it makes it even more difficult. They will be very much up for it, but we are in decent form and we have got nothing to fear.”
The Blades have no new injury worries but Chris Porter is still ruled out with a knee injury.
Last six games: Scunthorpe LLLLLL Sheffield United LDWDDW
Referee: S Rushton (Staffs).
Last time: Scunthorpe United 1 Sheffield United 1, September 10 2011, League One.
SkyBet odds: Scunthorpe to win 11-4; Sheff Utd to win 10-11; Draw 12-5.