SHEFFIELD WED/BARNSLEY: Reds step up loan bid to take Chris O’Grady from Owls

Barnsley target: Striker Chris O'Grady is wanted by his former boss, Keith Hill
Barnsley target: Striker Chris O'Grady is wanted by his former boss, Keith Hill
Have your say

BARNSLEY have intensified their efforts to prise Sheffield Wednesday’s leading scorer Chris O’Grady away from Hillsborough.

Reds boss Keith Hill is a big admirer of O’Grady, having worked with the striker at his former club Rochdale.

Speaking exclusively to The Star, Hill revealed: “I’d love to get Chris [O’Grady]. He’d be a great signing for us.

“I’ve spoke to Chris’s agent and we’ve discussed a potential move, but there’s politics involved and we’re just playing a waiting game to see if we can get him.

“He’s their [Wednesday’s] leading goalscorer and he’s been playing quite a bit for them, so a lot depends on whether they’d be prepared to let us have him.

“I’ve love to get a deal done but at times we’ve thought we were close and other times not. Chris is always a player I’ve wanted to recruit.”

Owls manager Dave Jones is on record as saying that somebody must go out of Hillsborough if he brings in someone to improve the team’s firepower.

Wednesday have been strongly linked with Sunderland’s Connor Wickham but last night a doubt emerged about whether or not the Black Cats are willing to let the England Under-21 striker go out on loan immediately.

If the Owls are able to do a loan deal for a striker then it could improve the Reds’ chances of landing O’Grady on loan, perhaps with a view to a full deal in January.

O’Grady lost his starting place to Gary Madine for the game at Middlesbrough last Friday but did not play in a strong reserves side in a behind-closed-doors game against Huddersfield at Middlewood yesterday.

The team included Stephen Bywater, Martin Taylor, Kieran Lee, Chris Lines, Joe Mattock, Rhys McCabe, Jermaine Johnson, Rodri and Danny Mayor.

Wednesday won 3-1 with goals in the first half by Mayor and Johnson and one in the second half by Rodri.

Huddersfield too fielded an experienced line-up and their goal came from Danny Ward.

O’Grady has scored five goals but two of those were in the Capital One Cup at Oldham. The Owls’ top league scorer is Ross Barkley with four.

Wickham, who scored the first goal in England’s 2-0 win against Northern Ireland in Blackpool last night, started alongside Blackpool winger Tom Ince and Middlesbrough’s on-loan Chelsea midfielder, Josh McEachran Both played against the Owls last week.