Sheffield Wednesday: Mandaric defends Antonio sale

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Chairman Milan Mandaric has told Sheffield Wednesday supporters he did not want Michail Antonio to leave Hillsborough.

But the Serbian-born businessman insists the forward wanted to move to Championship rivals Nottingham Forest and is adamant they have got a good deal for the player.

Antonio completed his switch to the City Ground for a fee believed to be around £1.5m yesterday, signing a three-year contract.

The 24-year-old joined Wednesday on a permanent basis in the summer of 2012 from Reading, who inserted a sell on clause as part of the transfer. Antonio went on to hit the back of the net 18 times in 83 appearances.

Mandaric, who has confirmed the Owls have tabled a bid for St Johnstone striker Stevie May, said: “I don’t like to lose good players but if the player expresses an interest to go then that changes my feelings. He [Antonio] wanted to go. I feel we have got value for money.”

With Antonio having departed, Mandaric said they are chasing two strikers, with May at the top of their wish list. Rotherham United have also expressed an interest in the Scotland Under-21 international, who scored 27 goals last season for the Saints, but The Star understands the Owls are in pole position to sign him.

May is poised to make his final appearance for the Saints in their Europa League tie with Spartak Trnava tonight.

Mandaric, who has promised to give an update on Hafiz Mammadov’s proposed takeover of the club before the trip to Brighton and Hove Albion this weekend, said: “We are looking for a quality striker and he [May] fits everything we are looking for. A bid has been placed and we are in dialogue with his club.

“We are desperate for a finisher and to enhance the quality of the team.”