Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough fears missing out on in-demand Harry Maguire and an emotional return to Bramall Lane.
The 21-year-old moved from his hometown club in the summer for £2,5m to Hull City but has figured little for the Tigers. And with Steve Bruce’s side now out of Europe, the Hull manager may be prepared to allow Maguire out on loan.
The Blades are desperate to bring Maguire back to South Yorkshire, but with a clutch of Championship clubs also chasing his signature Clough is realistic that he may miss out.
“An enquiry has gone in, but I think there are quite a lot of Championship clubs in for Harry,” said Clough.
“The only thing is, it would be the emotional pull of coming back (to Bramall Lane). I think ideally Hull want him to go into the Championship.
“Having gone two divisions up, he probably won’t want to drop back down despite all his connections here.
“I think there are five or six teams in the Championship after Harry, we have competition.
“But he knows where we are and we would love to have him back.
“I don’t think we have to sell it to Harry. If he says ‘I’m going to the Championship’, that just might outweigh all the emotional pull of coming back here.
“If he is going to go anywhere, we would rather he come to us. But we can’t do any more.
“He knows how we would use him here, the respect he has for the place.
“If it hadn’t been a Premier League club, he would have still been with us and hopefully leading us on a promotion charge.”
One player set for a loan deal away from United is defender Andy Butler, who has failed to break into the team after his summer arrival.