Wolverhampton Wanderers have expressed an interest in former Sheffield United loanee Conor Coady, The Star understands.
The League One champions, who also hope to sign Harry Maguire from Nigel Clough’s side, are believed to be the unnamed club which approached Liverpool about the possibility of recruiting Coady earlier this month.
As this newspaper revealed five days ago, Anfield officials value Coady at around £1m after he impressed at Bramall Lane last season.
Although Kenny Jackett, Clough’s counterpart at Molineux, is unlikely to pay a seven figure fee for the central midfielder, sources in the North-West report that he will try to tempt Liverpool by offering a significant downpayment coupled with further performance-based installments.
Clough, who is poised to make Walsall captain Andy Butler his third signing of the summer following the recent arrivals of Marc McNulty and Jamal Campbell-Ryce, has also approached Brendan Rodgers about the possibility of working with Coady again next term.
But Wolves, who are scheduled to receive another £8m parachute payment from the Premier League ahead of the new campaign, hope their financial muscle will swing the battle for the 21-year-old’s services.
Despite opening talks with the out-of-contract Richard Stearman, Jackett is also known to be monitoring Maguire’s situation closely as United hope to persuade their reigning player of the year to extend his present deal.
Clough has already made it clear he feels Maguire’s development would be best served by staying put.
“If he was 24 or 25 and we still weren’t in the Championship then I could completely understand him looking around because he’s got the ability to play at a higher level,” the United manager said. “There’s nothing worse than seeing a talented lad go somewhere else and either not being involved or getting a few games and then dropping out again because they’re not quite ready.
However Wolves believe the lure of Championship football, combined with the type of enhanced financial package which convinced Kevin McDonald to swap South Yorkshire for the Black Country in August, will tempt Maguire, aged 21, to reject United’s proposal.