Nigel Clough hopes Harry Maguire lets his heart rule his head if, as expected, the former Sheffield United centre-half is allowed to leave Hull City on loan, writes James Shield.
Clough made the admission after confirming he has spoken to Steve Bruce, the Premier League club’s manager, about the possibility of re-signing Maguire less than seven weeks after the player completed a £2.5m transfer from Bramall Lane.
Despite acknowledging that Bruce would “probably” prefer Maguire to continue his development at Championship level, Clough told The Star: “I don’t think we’d have to sell ourselves to Harry. He knows how we would use him here and we know the respect he has for this place.
“In fact, if it hadn’t been a Premier League club coming in for him, he would probably have still been with us and hopefully leading us on a promotion charge. If he is going to go anywhere, we would rather he come to us but we can’t do any more than we already have.
“We’ve made our thoughts known and registered what we’d like to do. So all we can do know is wait and see what happens.”
Reading, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham and Bolton Wanderers are also understood to be interested in acquiring Maguire’s services should first team opportunities at the KC Stadium continue to prove elusive.
He made 166 appearances for United after graduating from the Redtooth Academy in 2011 but has enjoyed only 94 minutes of competitive action since heading to East Yorkshire.
Clough, whose side return to League One action against Rochdale this weekend, added: “If he says ‘I’m going to the Championship’ then that just might outweigh all the emotional pull of coming back here.
“An enquiry has gone in but I think there are quite a lot of Championship clubs in for Harry. That obviously makes it difficult for us.
“The thing in our favour could be the emotional pull of coming back. I think ideally Hull want him to go into Championship.
“Having gone two divisions up, he probably won’t want to drop back down despite all his connections here. But he knows where we are and we would love to have him back.”