Sheffield Wednesday look to sign both Jordan Rhodes and Gary Hooper as Boro target Ross McCormack

Is the Middlesbrough deal for Jordan Rhodes back on? (Picture: Clint Hughes/PA Wire).
Is the Middlesbrough deal for Jordan Rhodes back on? (Picture: Clint Hughes/PA Wire).
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SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY are switching their attentions to bringing in Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes following the capture of left-back Joe Bennett on loan.

Former Middlesbrough defender Bennett, on the fringes at Aston Villa, has joined for the rest of the season and will provide competition for Daniel Pudil on the left-hand side of the Owls’ back-four with Rhoys Wiggins being tipped to depart to either Bristol City or Brighton.

A marquee forward remains the Owls’ priority in the remainder of the current transfer window, with the club understood to be leading the race to sign Rhodes.

The ex-Huddersfield Town marksman, whose father Andy is on the coaching staff at Hillsborough, has also been linked with a move to Boro.

But their top target remains Fulham striker Ross McCormack after being frustrated in their concerted attempts to sign Rhodes in the summer.

Boro have also seen efforts to land ex-Leeds United captain McCormack rebuffed so far following high-level talks.

But they are expected to return with another bid to further test the patience of Fulham.

The Cottagers, who are under a strict transfer embargo, remain intent on keeping McCormack.

Alongside the capture of Rhodes, Wednesday remain in talks with Norwich City about the prospect of Gary Hooper returning to the club following the end of his loan spell.

That potentially took a positive step forward after Norwich City completed an £8.5m move to sign Everton’s Steven Naismith, which has pushed Hooper further down the pecking order following his return to Carrow Road.

Meanwhile, Bennett has revealed that he is open to the prospect of a permanent switch to the Owls if things go well, with a loan move being a ‘no-brainer’.

On a potential full-time switch to the club, Bennett – who is not part of new head coach Remi Garde’s plans at Villa following his return from an injury-hit loan spell at Bournemouth – said: “Maybe, yes.

“They are pushing for promotion and if they get promoted, I don’t see why not.

“I have a year left at Villa and that takes me coming up to 27.

“The most important thing at the minute is playing games and I am really looking forward to helping Sheffield Wednesday. I really want to help them get promoted.

“There were a few teams who were in for me on loan, but I felt Sheffield Wednesday was an ideal team to come to.

“I spoke to Barry Bannan as well. I know him from his time at Aston Villa and he said he was enjoying it here and that they have a great chance to push for promotion.

“It was a no-brainer. really”

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan says he expects Leeds United defender Sam Byram to complete his move later today.

Sullivan has confirmed that “everything was in agreement” over Byram’s switch to Upton Park after the 22-year-old travelled to London for a medical yesterday morning.

Byram rejected a move to Everton in favour of an offer from West Ham following talks with both clubs over the weekend.

Everton bid £3.7m for Byram, but Leeds owner Massimo Cellino claimed he had accepted a “much lower” offer from West Ham after Byram made it clear that he wanted to move to London.

Sullivan, speaking yesterday, said: “We hoped to sign Sam Byram in the summer when he was out of contract at Leeds, but in the last few days it looked like he was going to Everton.

“We realised it was now or never, so we had to pitch in and attempt to sign him. Hopefully that will go through in the next 24 hours.”

Leeds’s home game with Boro has been rescheduled for Monday, February 15 and will be shown live on Sky Sports.