Sheffield United have placed their plan to re-sign Harry Maguire on the backburner, The Star understands.
Nigel Clough, the League One club’s manager, revealed his desire to broker a loan deal for the centre-half last month amid reports he could be poised to depart Hull City on loan.
But with mananging director Mal Branningan acknowledging that United had a “substantive bid” for a defender turned down before the recent transfer deadline, it appears Clough and his staff have now identified an alternative target in the transfer market.
“We can still achieve value with loans even though there is often a fee involved,” Branningan told this newspaper.
“Loans can be used to allow a player to connect with a club and allow everyone involved to reach a position whereby something permanent can be arranged at a later date.
“All of the players we looked at (on deadline day) are with Championship clubs.”
Maguire has yet to make a Premier League appearance for City since completing a £2.5m move from United to the KC Stadium during the close season.
With Steve Bruce’s side failing to qualify for the Europa League, the former England under-21 international could be allowed to leave East Yorkshire on a temporary basis, although United fear City would prefer him to join a Championship club.
“Harry is Hull City’s player and so it would be disrespectful to discuss him in detail,” Brannigan added. “But if the opportunity to speak with him did materialise then it’s one we would accept.”