Nigel Clough has warned Sheffield United must not be kept waiting in the transfer market this summer, writes James Shield.
Clough, the League One club’s manager, was speaking after it emerged he wants to complete the majority of his business before United’s first team squad return to training on July 3.
Livingston centre-forward Marc McNulty and Ben Davies are known to feature on the former England international’s wanted list while Notts County’s Alan Sheehan has also been linked with United in recent weeks.
Clough, confirming that negotiations with prospective targets and their representatives have already taken place, said: “We’re doing a lot of talking. We’ve got a list of our preferred choices and those are always the hardest to do.
“They can take time. But we won’t let things drag on too long because, if that happens and nothing comes off, then you run the risk of missing out on your second and third choices.
“If you get a feeling something might happen with the first choice in a month or so then, in that case, we’d be tempted to wait. If not, though, then we’d move on.”
Clough, who confirmed Davies has been offered a permanent contract by United after joining them on loan last term, tabled a bid for McNulty earlier this month.
Although that was rebutted by officials at Almondvale Stadium - “Nobody ever accepts your first price,” Clough admitted” - he remains confident of acquiring the 21-year-old’s services.
McNulty, who scored 19 goals in 39 appearances for the Scottish Championship club last season, has already trained with United’s senior squad.
Sheehan, the former Leicester City, Leeds and Swindon Town defender, is expected to leave Meadow Lane during the close season despite helping Shaun Derry’s side avoid being relegated to League Two.
However, reaching agreement with fellow left-back Bob Harris is likely to be Clough’s immediate priority although United inserted a 12 month option into the deal which saw him leave Blackpool midway through the campaign.
“Ideally we’ll be looking to tie that up,” Clough said. “We’ll see if we can put an extra year on it.”
Harris has impressed since arriving in South Yorkshire, making 15 appearances as United climbed to seventh in the table and reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
“I’m loving my time here and hopefully the manager wants me to stay,” he admitted soon after April 13th’s visit to Wembley. “I’m really enjoying my football again which, for one or two different reasons, hasn’t always been the case over the last year.
“It’s a great place to be.”