Sheffield United: Search for a striker gathers pace

Assistant manager Lee Carsley and David Weir  � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Assistant manager Lee Carsley and David Weir � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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Sheffield United are pressing ahead with their search for attacking reinforcements in the emergency loan window, writes James Shield.

Manager David Weir, together with the club’s scouting department, are understood to have finalised a short-list of potential signings following Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad’s decision to purchase a 50 per cent stake in its parent company.

Although Weir has warned against regarding the transfer market as a “quick fix” for United’s miserable start to the season, the sight of them failing to score during last weekend’s defeat by Carlisle further underlined their need for a new centre-forward.

“We are always investigating ways of improving the team,” he said. “That is an on-going process. A given.

“We are looking at certain things we can do but, at the same time, that doesn’t mean to say we should stop looking at ourselves to see how we can all improve as individuals.”

Weir has refused to divulge the identities of those players on his wanted list although exploratory talks are believed to have taken place with at least two would-be targets ahead of the visit to Brunton Park.

Depending upon the terms of any agreement with their parent club, United could opt to renew their interest in Coventry City’s Leon Clarke when the window for permanent transfer reopens next year.

The former Sheffield Wednesday and Queens Park Rangers marksman scored his fifth goal of the season during Sunday’s victory over Gillingham which lifted Steven Pressley’s side above United in the League One table.

Meanwhile, United’s under-18’s were beaten 4-1 by the Midlands club when they travelled to Warwickshire in Professional Development League Two (North) three days ago.

Jake Wright, previously of Macclesfield Town, scored a late consolation for Travis Binnion’s side. United return to PDL action against Nottingham Forest next month.

“Coventry fully deserved their victory as they showed more conviction and composure at both ends,” Binnion said. “It seems silly because in truth we probably had enough chances to win the game.

“But you cannot concede four and expect to win.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1