Football Gossip (September 6): Sheffield Wednesday set to sign AC Milan defender | Rotherham United sign Blackstock | O'Neill side-steps Hull City link
Sheffield Wednesday are reportedly set to complete the signing of former Ajax and AC Milan defender Urby Emanuelson today.
Free agent Emanuelson, an ex-Dutch international, underwent a medical last night and is set to pen a deal until the end of the season at Hillsborough after agreeing personal terms.
The summer transfer market shut last Wednesday, but clubs can sign unattached players as long as they were without a club at the transfer deadline, at any stage.
Left-back Emanuelson, capped 17 times by his country, has been without a club since leaving Hellas Verona at the end of last season. He played 11 times for Verona.
Sheffield United are also chasing out-of-contract free agents.
Blades boss Chris Wilder, while admitting to be satisfied with the work he did in the summer window, has opened lines of enquiry with two free agents.
Wilder said of the Blades’ dealings: “I’ve been backed by the board,” Wilder continued. “They’ve trusted me and I’ve taken ownership of it. I not going in and said ‘I want him, I want him and forget about the fee.’
“I’ve not forgotten about protecting the club if players don’t produce and, to be fair, I get the impression that’s not always been the case in the past.”
Rotherham United have signed out-of-contract striker Dexter Blackstock, subject to FA and EFL ratification.
The 30-year-old marksman left fellow Sky Bet Championship club Nottingham Forest before last month’s transfer deadline, and moves to AESSEAL New York Stadium after agreeing a three-year deal with the club.
Blackstock, who began his career with Southampton, boasts a wealth of Championship experience following spells with the likes of Plymouth, Derby and QPR.
In 2009 he made the move to Forest, following a successful loan spell, eventually racking up close to 200 appearances during his stay at the City Ground.
Martin O’Neill was coy last night about his name being linked to the vacant manager’s post at Hull City, but it is understood Mike Phelan - the caretaker - remains favourite.
Republic of Ireland manager O’Neill was asked about the job following his side’s 2-2 draw with Serbia in a World Cup qualifer on Monday.
“I don’t think anything of that,” said an evasive O’Neill, who quickly changed the subject of the post-match press conference.
“I am delighted that we have got off the mark here in what was a very difficult game for us.”
Leeds United’s Conor Shaughnessy has quickly set his sights on stepping out in front of a packed Elland Road after entertaining a rather smaller crowd gathered for the club’s under-23s.
The 20-year-old central midfielder was released by Reading earlier this summer but impressed in a recent successful trial period with the young Whites. Shaughnessy, a Republic of Ireland international at youth level, then signed a one-year deal to join United’s Development Squad and was brought on as a second-half substitute during Friday night’s 1-1 draw for United’s under-23s against Crewe at Elland Road.
“I was delighted to get a chance to have a run out at Elland Road,” said Shaughnessy.
“It was a great feeling and I was happy to be on that pitch and playing in front of that crowd.
“It was a little bit small but hopefully I will play in front of a bigger crowd. That’s the aim.