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 defender joined the Tigers in the summer for £2.5m – but faces stiff competition from several Championship sides.
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 exit in 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.
“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.
“There’s no great hurry at the moment, with everybody being in good nick.
“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.”