Sheffield United: Baxter results could trigger striker swoop

Jose Baxter is nursing a hamstring problem � copyright : Blades Sports Photography
Jose Baxter is nursing a hamstring problem � copyright : Blades Sports Photography
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Sheffield United will await the results of a scan on Jose Baxter’s injured hamstring before deciding whether to step-up their pursuit of Steve Davies, writes James Shield.

The Blackpool centre-forward, who worked with Nigel Clough at Derby County, remains the United manager’s number one target in the transfer market despite failing to secure his release from Bloomfield Road before this month’s deadline for permanent signings.

But with Baxter potentially facing a lengthy spell in the treatment room after missing Tuesday night’s victory over Colchester, Bramall Lane’s hierarchy could attempt to exploit the uncertainty surrounding Jose Riga’s side by tabling a proposal to recruit Davis on loan should their worst fears over the 22-year-old be confirmed.

Clough, whose team returns to action against Swindon Town this weekend, expressed reservations about aspects of United’s performance at the Weston Homes Community Stadium despite watching late goals from Ben Davies (2) and Ryan Flynn secure a dramatic 3-2 win.

Speaking after that result, which lifted United to sixth in the League One table, Clough indicated Baxter, the club’s joint leading scorer this term, could be available for selection “sooner rather than later” if an examination performed ahead of the trip to Essex reveals no serious damage has been sustained.

However, with Jamal Campbell-Ryce (calf) and Jamie Murphy (dead leg) also undergoing treatment, Clough is expected to review his decision to delay entering the emergency loan market until after September 27th’s fixture with Gillingham.

Davies, aged 26, has commanded fees totalling £1.25m after leaving the iPro Stadium two years ago. He scored 13 times in 21 starts for Bristol City before joining Blackpool last summer.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1