Sheffield United will make another approach for Leon Clarke this week as Bury as they refuse to admit defeat in the battle for the Bury centre-forward’s services.
Despite rejecting two offers from United last week, David Flitcroft, Chris Wilder’s counterpart at Gigg Lane, omitted Clarke from Saturday’s friendly with Southend United after admitting his “head had been turned” by their League One rival’s interest.
That suggests Clarke is keen on exploring the possibility of a move to Bramall Lane although no talks have taken place between United and the player.
Alan Knill, Wilder’s assistant, acknowledged Clarke remains a target following United’s visit to Grimsby Town.
“We are two weeks away (from the start of the season) and we think there’s always room for improvement,” he said.
“Whether it be from the players who are already here or from outside the group.
“And if there are ways to improve, then we’ll always try and do it. That goes without saying.
“We’re working hard to make sure we are in the best shape possible. That determination is there.”
Clarke, aged 31, scored 18 goals in 37 appearances last season after leaving Wolverhampton Wanderers.
His former Bury team mate Chris Hussey joined United following Wilder’s appointment in May for an undisclosed sum.
Che Adams featured as a second-half substitute during the 3-1 victory at Blundell Park after being the subject of a failed £1.2m offer by Birmingham City on Tuesday.
Sources close to St Andrews have reported the Championship club are now considering whether to simply up their bid or try and tempt United with a player-plus-cash package.
Despite being excused from duty at FC Halifax Town four days earlier, Knill confirmed Adams will again be considered for selection when United continue their pre-season preparations against Derby County on Wednesday.
“We’ve got to use him,” Knill said. “
“He’s still our player and, if he doesn’t go, then we want him to be able to play the way we want. So he has to play, he has to be involved.
“He has to get minutes under his belt and so he will do.”