Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, has confirmed he will approach Liverpool for permission to retain Conor Coady’s services next season, writes James Shield.
But Clough, speaking ahead of tonight’s game against Stevenage, insisted talks about the midfielder’s future must not take place until after the Anfield club’s push for the Premier League title is resolved.
Coady, whose loan expires at the end of the season, has been a huge success since arriving at Bramall Lane last year and made his 45th appearance during Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final with Hull City.
“We’ll ask the question regarding Conor,” Clough told The Star. “Then see what response we get.
“In fairness, though. I think Brendan (Rodgers, the Liverpool manager) has got something a little more important on his mind at the moment rather than talking things through with us. So, out of respect for both him and Liverpool, we’ll wait until everything is done and dusted there.”
“Conor has, I believe, got a year left on his contract at Anfield so the decision is Liverpool’s to make,” Clough added. “What happens there might have a bearing, I honestly don’t know.
“They will decide what happens next and so, to be truthful, it is out of our hands. The same as it is with John Brayford at Cardiff.”
Brayford and Coady are among five members of Clough’s squad on temporary contracts. One of those, Derby County’s Ben Davies, becomes a free agent at the end of the campaign.
United invited Fraser Fyvie to train with them ahead of this evening’s League One fixture with Graham Westley’s side but are unlikely to pursue a deal for the Wigan Athletic midfielder. Another trialist, Kevin Stewart of Tottenham Hotspur, has now been approached by Coady’s parent club but could undergo a second period of assessment in South Yorkshire should Rodgers elect against offering him a deal.
“We’ve got some tough decisions to make at the end of the season,” Clough said. “We’ll let those concerned know first which is the right and proper thing to do.
“Our planning, as a staff, has already started. We’ve got our eye on a couple of things.”