Sheffield United: Blades hope to unveil new striker

Nigel Clough
Nigel Clough
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Sheffield United hope to unveil Michael Higdon, the NEC Nijmegen centre-forward, as their latest new signing before Saturday’s League One opener against Bristol City.

As The Star revealed last weekend, Bramall Lane’s hierarchy met Higdon and his representatives ahead of the South Yorkshire club’s friendly at York 48 hours ago with a provisional agreement to secure his release from the Stadion de Goffert thought to have been reached before the 2-0 defeat at Bootham Crescent.

Although Nigel Clough refused to elaborate on the progress of those talks, he confirmed: “There is interest in Michael Higdon, yes, but that’s as far as it’s gone. We will be following it up but until someone has actually signed on the dotted line then everything is just speculative.”

“We are looking at a range of strikers,” Clough added. “Ideally, though, we’d like someone who brings a real physical presence. Somebody who can get a hold of the ball and compliment what we’ve already got.”

Higdon, aged 30, fits the bill perfectly and, barring any unforeseen complications, is expected to join a United attack already strengthened by the arrival of Marc McNulty and Jamal Campbell-Ryce shortly.

A former PFA Scotland Players’ Player of the Year, he is poised to return to England following NEC’s relegation to the Eerste Divisie earlier this year. Higdon, who moved to the Netherlands following spells with St Mirren and Motherwell, has scored 14 goals in 28 starts since leaving Fir Park.

Meanwhile, United face an anxious wait to discover if Jose Baxter (calf) and James Wallace (groin) will be available for selection against City after being withdrawn during the first-half of the meeting with Nigel Worthington’s side.

“We told all of the lads to let us know if they felt the slightest thing so we could substitute them straight away,” Clough said. “That’s what happened with James and Jose. We don’t think it’s anything too serious and we’ll hopeful that everything will be okay. There was no point in taking any risks.”