Crewe Alexandra could be poised to enter the race for Andy Butler’s services.
Walsall are interested in signing the Sheffield United centre-half on loan only three months after he swapped the Bescot Stadium for Bramall Lane.
But Steve Davis, the Alexandra manager, reportedly views Butler as the type of experienced figure capable of resurrecting his club’s season following its disastrous start to the new League One campaign.
However, like Walsall, Davis would need United to subsidise a percentage of the 30-year-old’s wages before attempting to progress his interest.
Butler has made just one appearance for Nigel Clough’s side since returning to South Yorkshire on a free transfer earlier this summer and was omitted from the squad which faced Preston North End towards the end of last month.
Clough’s decision to reveal he remains keen on bolstering the defensive options at his disposal immediately after that 1-1 draw persuaded Walsall to make an tentative enquiry about the possibility of luring Butler back to the Midlands. United’s response is thought to have contained a demand that potential suitors must first pledge to cover his wages, in full, for the duration of any proposed agreement before being granted permission to open talks.
Although sources close to Dean Smith’s side last night confirmed he will continue monitoring Butler’s situation, they acknowledged he feels a deal is unlikely to progress unless United’s stance softens.