Sheffield United have held further talks with Middlesbrough aimed at bringing Harry Chapman back to Bramall Lane.
The England under-20 international joined Chris Wilder’s side on loan earlier this season but returned to Teesside last month after being diagnosed with a serious injury.
Although Chapman (pictured) is not expected to regain fitness until early March, United have expressed their desire to re-sign the teenager during talks with his parent club. But, given the doubts about his availability, representatives acting on behalf of Bramall Lane could seek to adjust the terms of their agreement with Middlesbrough to protect the League One leaders’ financial interests.
Chapman’s absence - he damaged an ankle membrane before last month’s FA Cup tie at Bolton Wanderers - has prompted Wilder to explore alternative options in the transfer market with Joe Riley of Manchester United emerging as his preferred choice.
Riley, who has made two senior appearances since progressing through Old Trafford’s youth system, has asked to leave in order to gain more first team experience and Jose Mourinho recently granted his request.
With a temporary deal lasting until the end of the season thought to have already been agreed in principle, the League One leaders expect to unveil the 20-year-old as their second signing of the January window shortly following Samir Carruthers’ arrival from MK Dons.