Sheffield Wednesday are pondering a move for former loan star Roger Johnson after Wolves manager Kenny Jackett confirmed the defender is free to leave Molineux this summer.
Johnson, who started 17 times during a loan spell with the Owls last season, is poised to speak to Jackett regarding his long-term future this week.
But the 31-year-old, one of the high earners at Wolves, has, along with teammate Jamie O’Hara, been banished from first-team pre-season training again.
Fresh from steering the club to the League One title, Jackett wants to trim Wolves’ wage bill by offloading players such as Johnson, O’Hara, Kevin Doyle and Stephen Ward.
“Those players have all been out on loan and I’m sure they’ll want to return (to other clubs) if possible,” said Jackett. “At present they are Wolves players and they’ll be treated with every respect. I’m sure we’ll be working hard towards getting what they need, which is their next move.”
Wednesday head coach Stuart Gray is a big admirer of Johnson, who has one year left on his contract at Wolves.
The Owls boss said: “He did well here and would be several options to have in mind, but you’ve got to have a few irons in the fire.”
Having released Anthony Gardner, Martin Taylor and Miguel Llera and allowed youngster Taylor McKenzie to move to Notts County, Gray, who also hopes to re-sign Sam Hutchinson, is short of options at the heart of his rearguard.
Kamil Zayatte, who missed the majority of the 2013/14 campaign because of an ankle problem, is the only recognised senior centre-back on Wednesday’s books, although Glenn Loovens and Oguchi Onyewu are expected to shortly sign new contracts.
It is understood Gray wants to recruit a minimum of one new centre-half. However, Jackett says Wednesday have yet to contact them over the possibility of signing Johnson.
He said: “We’re not close to a deal, but he’s available. He did very well there (Wednesday) last time, so we’ll see.”