SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Nile in range for Owls

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SHEFFIELD Wednesday’s pursuit of Nile Ranger is still on despite Newcastle’s offloading of Leon Best.

The Magpies’ £3-million-plus sale of Best to Blackburn caused speculation that they may be less inclined to let Ranger join the Owls.

But is understood that Ranger is unlikely to figure in the St James’s Park first-team plans and he could be leaving this summer - possibly for Hillsborough. It will hinge on whether or not the clubs can come to some agreement for the 21-year-old who has four years left on his contract.

Ranger rejected a move to Blackpool a year ago after a £1m fee was agreed.

He may be available for considerably less than that now, and it appears than a long-term loan to Wednesday has yet to be ruled out as one of the options.

Boss Dave Jones would rather take him on a full deal, however, and regards the striker as a talented young player with plenty of potential.

Best has gone but the club have had a first-choice duo of Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba and want to keep them in their striker department, along with Hatem Ben Arfa.

Money is also clearly available to bring in extra strength, with a bid of between £9.6m and £11.2m for Luuk de Jong of Dutch club Twente understood to have been rejected.

There could be bargaining going on behind the scenes between Wednesday and Newcastle - with the Owls not averse to playing a waiting game over Ranger and other targets, including Michail Antonio and Keith Treacy.