Sheffield United boss Clough targets loan market

Nigel Clough
Nigel Clough
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Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough hopes to bring in two loan signings to bolster his Blades squad later this month.

Top of his wanted list is a centre-half, after United failed with a “substantial” bid for a defender just before the closure of the transfer window last week.

Clough is keen on bringing Harry Maguire back on loan from Hull City - the Sheffield-born stopper joined the Tigers in the summer for £2.5m - but faces stiff competition from several Championship sides.

But the Blades boss is determined to stay patient to bring in the “right players” and would prefer to leave any emergency loan deals until the end of September so their 93-day stay takes them into January. Any signings now would have to leave mid-December and leave united short during the busy Christmas period.

“We tried unbelievably hard to try and get players in, right up to the deadline on the Monday night.” he said. “We put very substantial offers in for players.

“The problem we have got is we have a good squad as it is, and we only want players who are going to improve it. There’s no point bringing players in who are the same as we have. We are not just going to bring in people for the sake of it.

“People want to keep their good players and they’re the ones we are after. The ones that are on the fringes of people’s squads we have as good as that.

“We have Stephen McGinn, Chris Porter who can’t get a game at times, Andy Butler.

“Bringing in a couple of players would have been ideal. We are still going to try and do that, even with a view to a permanent in January.

“There’s no great hurry at the moment, with everybody being in good nick, and we have a lot games coming up so we are going to try and keep most of the squad together.

“There’s one or two who need to get out on loan and that’s fine. But when you look, we have games coming up Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday for a few weeks.

“On loans, you have this 93-day anomaly so they would have to go back mid-December if we take them now. If we can get through to the end of the month, then we can take someone to January 1, that would be ideal.

“As much as we have a lot of games coming up now, we will have just as many in December during that Christmas period.”

The Blades welcome Rochdale to Bramall Lane tomorrow in League One, after having a two-week break due to the international fixtures.