Dom Howson column: Football rumour mill is in full flight as Owls seek quality recruits

Alan Judge
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Alan Judge, Nick Blackman, Mike Williamson, Jonson Clarke-Harris, Nemanja Nikolics, Zach Clough, Ben Marshall, Jordan Rhodes and Patrick Bamford.

If you believe the football rumour mill, Sheffield Wednesday have inquired about all of the above players since the transfer window reopened less than a week ago. Apologies if I missed anyone out, but I’m sure there will probably be a new name to add to the list today!

Agents are hard at work managing the financial affairs of their clients and you don’t need to be Albert Einstein to recognise that Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri and his global advisors are actively pursuing a number of transfer targets.

In Judge and Blackman’s case, the Owls tabled offers for the forwards. Brentford rebuffed Wednesday’s bid for Judge while Derby pipped them to the signature of Blackman after he opted against signing a new contract at Reading.

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Speculation has gone into overdrive on who will be joining Carvalhal’s revolution. When I asked the Portuguese chief if he hates the window because of the constant rumours in yesterday’s press briefing, he, in his own inimitable style, replied: “I hate poison, I hate terrorism, I hate wars but I don’t hate the transfer window.

“When you open the window, some fresh air can come inside. Some good. Some not so good but you can refresh your house!”

While some Wednesdayites will be disappointed they lost out in the race to land Blackman this week, it is still another stark reminder of how far the club have come in a short space of time.

A little over 12 months ago, the Owls were shopping in a completely different market. Stuart Gray, who returns to Hillsborough tomorrow for the first time since his controversial sacking last summer, did a sterling job on a limited budget. Gray, now a senior coach at Fulham, relied on his contacts to recruit free transfers and loans.

Now Wednesday are in a position where they can pay hefty fees for players and compete with the leading lights in the division.

What Chansiri and his cohorts are looking for, though, is value for money. As he has shown in the past, Chansiri is prepared to get his chequebook out but only players who will make the team stronger be drafted in between now and February 1.

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