SHEFFIELD Wednesday manager Gary Megson insists that he is still in the dark over the future of winger Ben Marshall.
The Owls want to keep the on-loan Stoke City winger but League One promotion rivals Huddersfield Town are trying to hijack the move.
Marshall, 20, will be out of contract at the end of the season but has been in talks with Stoke about the possibility of signing a new three-year deal.
His loan with the Owls does not expire until January 15 and Megson is keen to retain his services for the remainder of the promotion push.
“We will have to wait and see what happens between the two parties,” said Megson yesterday. “Everyone knows what we would like to do but it’s whether we can get it done.
“I speak to Tony (Pulis, Stoke manager) on a regular basis and I know what’s going on but we will just have to wait and see,” he added. “I don’t do the transfers at this club, I simply make the recommendations, but this one has fallen onto my plate because I am a mate of Tony Pulis. This has been laid at my door but I can only do that on the basis of asking a mate: ‘If you are going to loan him out, can he come to us?’”
It may be the case that Pulis is willing to allow Marshall to stay at Hillsborough – but only on condition that he signs a new deal.
However, if Marshall has decided that he is not going to sign a new deal, Stoke’s best option would be to sell to the highest bidder in the January transfer window.
Megson, meanwhile, has confirmed that central defender Mark Beevers will be returning to the Hillsborough club from Milton Keynes Dons.
Beevers joined the Dons on a 93-day loan at the end of August and his performances have helped keep his temporary club in the race for automatic promotion.
Megson wants Beevers back in the Owls squad and insists the 22-year-old has a future at Hillsborough.
“He went down there because he wasn’t getting a game but now it’s the second half of the season and things will change,” said Megson. “He will be coming back. End of story, and he won’t be going out anywhere else because we need our players. If I had been doing it, Mark wouldn’t have gone for 93 days. I didn’t know he was going for that period of time.”
Beevers makes his final appearance for the Dons tomorrow against Brentford.
Owls goalkeeper Nicky Weaver has suffered a setback in his attempt to return to action following knee surgery.
Weaver suffered a back spasm in training and is out of contention for tomorrow’s trip to Preston North End.
Megson still has to decide who will play in goal against the Lillywhites and could recall Arron Jameson.
Richard O’Donnell was given the nod for the Boxing Day defeat at Walsall because on-loan Stephen Bywater had returned to parent club Derby County. Bywater is set to rejoin the Owls on Sunday.
Tomorrow’s opponents Preston are without former Owls striker Neil Mellor, who faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee injury. Megson has also ruled out a move for Preston’s former Barnsley striker Iain Hume.