Loan target set for Blackpool D-Day

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BLACKPOOL will review Billy Clarke’s situation at Bloomfield Road after Christmas as Sheffield United continue to monitor the former Republic of Ireland under-21 international.

Clarke was an unused substitute as Ian Holloway’s side were held to a goalless draw by Watford over the weekend.

Having failed to make the Championship club’s squad since November 19’s visit to Middlesbrough, Holloway’s latest selection had prompted claims that the 24-year-old would not be allowed to return to Bramall Lane when the transfer window re-opens shortly.

However, sources at Blackpool last night told The Star that Holloway and his staff remain committed to assessing Clarke’s position following their FA Cup fourth round tie against Fleetwood Town.

“The plan has always been to take a look at things after that match,” one said.

“There are no reserves fixttures here so it seems likely Billy will be involved in the cup tie and things will be decided after that.”

United manager Danny Wilson has made no secret of his desire to work with Clarke again after watching him impress during a recent loan spell in South Yorkshire.

Whether or not he gets his wish appears dependent upon finance as much as Blackpool’s handling of a player whose contract expires at the end of the season.

Blackpool teammate Matt Phillips, who also enjoyed a successful period with United earlier this term, has now become a permanent fixture in Holloway’s plans.

Meanwhile, United academy beat neighbours Barnsley at Shirecliffe on Saturday.

Callum McFadzean and Joe Ironside were on target during the 2-0 success.