Sheffield United: Blades hold O’Grady talks

Barnsley's Chris O'Grady
Barnsley's Chris O'Grady
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Sheffield United have held discussions with Barnsley about Chris O’Grady’s future at Oakwell, The Star understands.

Although their South Yorkshire rivals issued a statement last month insisting Nigel Clough’s side would find it “impossible” to sign the former Leicester City and Sheffield Wednesday centre-forward, exploratory talks are believed to have taken place after Danny Wilson’s side were relegated from the Championship 10 weeks ago.

Clough, the United manager, has included O’Grady on a short-list of players capable of filling the vacancy which exists for a proven striker within Bramall Lane’s first team squad. However, the 28-year-old is not the only potential candidate identified by Clough and his scouting department with an number of other targets also being monitored.

Barnsley’s terse response to stories linking O’Grady with a move to United marked, according to some reports, the end of Clough’s interest in a marksman who has scored 21 goals in 59 appearances since leaving Hillsborough.

But sources close to Charlton Athletic, the club O’Grady seemed destined to join following Barnsley’s slide into League One, have told this newspaper they are aware provisional negotiations with United took place soon after the proposed transfer collapsed due to personal terms.

Despite signing Marc McNulty, Jamal Campbell-Ryce and awarding Chris Porter a new contract, Clough has made no attempt to disguise the fact he wants to further increase the attacking options at his disposal after United were installed as the early favourites to win promotion from the third tier next season.

Cardiff City’s John Brayford also remains a person of interest after impressing on loan during the previous campaign but Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Clough’s counterpart in the Welsh capital, insists the full-back will be handed an opportunity having failed to command a regular place in predecessor Malky Mackay’s plans.