Sheffield Wednesday: Owls keen to extend deals for loan trio

Sam Hutchinson has caught the eye since joining Wednesday.
Sam Hutchinson has caught the eye since joining Wednesday.
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Sheffield Wednesday hope to extend the loan deals of Sam Hutchinson, Gary Gardner and Leon Best as they aim to cope with a gruelling fixture schedule.

The trio are set to return to their parent clubs following the trip to Wigan Athletic, which is the third of eight matches the Owls play in March, next week.

But Owls head coach Stuart Gray has spoken of his desire to hang on to Hutchinson, Gardner and Best.

Gray said: “The question has been asked. The boys want to extend it. I think they are enjoying their football.”

Hutchinson, on loan from Chelsea, is primarily a defender but has impressed in the middle of the park, giving Wednesday some much-needed steel.

Gardner, an unused substitute against Middlesbrough, has shown flashes of his ability since arriving from Aston Villa while Blackburn Rovers striker Best has netted once in four outings.

Hutchinson, Gardner and Best will be available for selection for Wednesday’s clash at at relegation-threatened Yeovl Town this weekend as they look to maintain their improved form on the road under Gray.

You have to go back to November 30 for the last time Wednesday tasted defeat on their travels.

The loss at Blackpool cost Dave Jones his job and Gray has since overseen four victories and five draws. The Owls have also recorded clean sheets in their last two away days, at Reading and Huddersfield Town.

On their last visit to Yeovil, in September 2011, Wednesday triumphed 3-2 after strikes from David McGoldrick, Julian Bennett and Gary Madine.

Yeovil, who gained promotion to the Championship last term via the play-offs, lie in 23rd position, two points shy of safety.

Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric, meanwhile, has dismissed speculation linking them with a takeover bid from a Qatari consortium. Football agent Jonathan Hope, who has been fronting the Qatari group, has claimed they are prepared to invest “substantial amounts” into the South Yorkshire club and a “lucrative” deal would be completed over the next few days.

“The club wanted an investor in terms of a buy-out and I have found a solution,” Hope said. “My team have been working endlessly to occupy the requirements set out by Milan Mandaric and find an investor.

“We believe we have now met this and we have agreed a suitable deal which will see the Qatari investors take control of the club and investing substantial amounts in every department to get Sheffield Wednesday back up to the Premier League where they belong and should be.”

But Mandaric has rubbished Hope’s claims, saying: “It is pure speculation, which annoys me because it is unfair to everybody concerned in the situation.

“I am very disappointed people are destablising my supporters, the club and the potential buyers. There are groups who are interested but we are miles away for anything to be tangible.”