Sheffield Wednesday: Gray rues missing out on strike ace

Wednesday have missed out on signing Simon Cox.
Wednesday have missed out on signing Simon Cox.
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Owls boss Stuart Gray has expressed his frustration at failing to lure striker Simon Cox to Hillsborough as part of Michail Antonio’s move to Nottingham Forest.

Republic of Ireland international Cox has rejected the opportunity to join Wednesday, opting, instead, to return to Reading. The forward struck eight goals in 41 appearances for Forest last term, including the winner at Hillsborough.

Gray said: “I’m disappointed because we thought we had Simon coming in our direction with the deal plus a healthy transfer fee for Michail but he decided he wanted to go south.

“I’ve worked with Simon before. He’s a goal-scorer. It was the player’s decision and he decided he wanted to go to Reading.”

Winger Antonio completed his switch to the City Ground yesterday, signing a three-year deal after the two clubs agreed a believed to be in region of £1.5m.

“He wanted to go,” said Gray. “I think it was a good deal for all parties.”

Wednesday have tabled a bid for highly-rated St Johnstone striker Stevie May. Gray has yet to speak to the Scotland Under-21 international but he hopes to get an update on whether they have been successful with their offer after the Saints’ Europa League tie with Spartak Trnava tonight.

Gray, who has confirmed he will be without Lewis Buxton, Jeremy Helan and Caolan Lavery due to injury for their trip to Brighton this weekend, said: “We are not the only football club who are chasing a quality player who has shown he can score goals on a regular basis. Fingers crossed he will come through the game and we can get him over the line.”