Gray fearful over Florian

Owls trialist Dejan Kelhar has been offered a contract
Owls trialist Dejan Kelhar has been offered a contract
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Owls head coach Stuart Gray fears another club may hijack their attempts to bring Florian Tardieu to Hillsborough.

Sheffield Wednesday agreed an undisclosed fee for the 22-year-old with his current employers Istres several weeks ago.

But a deal for the French midfielder has yet to be finalised due to the delay in Hafiz Mammadov’s takeover of the Championship club. Tardieu, contracted to Istres until 2016, has visited the club’s Middlewood Road training ground and agreed personal terms with Gray’s side - but the Owls are waiting on the Football League to approve Mammadov’s buyout before completing the transfer.

Gray told The Star: “Nothing has changed with Florian. Someone could nip in and gazump us. It could happen because it has been well documented that I’m trying to bring the boy in. At the end of the day, we run the risk of losing him.”

Wednesday have offered a short-term contract to Slovenian international centre-back Dejan Kelhar, who was left out of their 1-1 pre-season draw against Barnsley on Saturday.

Gray quipped: “He hasn’t been home since he has joined us so we allowed him to go back and get a change of clothes!”

Kelhar has featured in half of Wednesday’s warm-up fixtures.

“We have offered him a short-term contract and he’s mulling it over,” said Gray. “It’s in his hands now.

“He’s been with the group for a good few weeks, he’s fitted in well and he’s done well. Hopefully he will be back with us for training on Wednesday.”

Wednesday have ended their interest in French forward Roy Contout, who came on as a second-half substitute against Newcastle United last week. Gray said: “We’ve got similar players in the building, like Chris Maguire, Jacques Maghoma and Michail Antonio. It just didn’t work out for him.”

Gray hopes to recruit a new striker before the trip to Brighton: “We should have an answer either today or tomorrow,” he said.

“But we are in competition with a lot of other football clubs for the quality players that are available.”

Owls boss Stuart Gray, inset, has offered a contract to

Dejan Kelhar, main picture