Sheffield United: Blades plot double swoop

Sheffield United target John McGinn (right) faces Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Sheffield United target John McGinn (right) faces Inverness Caledonian Thistle
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Sheffield United are monitoring Walsall captain Andy Butler and St Mirren’s John McGinn as manager Nigel Clough presses ahead with his efforts in the transfer market, writes James Shield.

Butler emerged as a target after announcing he will be leaving the Bescot Stadium this summer while sources close to the Scottish Premier League club last night acknowledged that Bramall Lane was the source of a £100,000 bid for McGinn yesterday.

Clough, who has already secured the services of Marc McNulty and Jamal Campbell-Ryce for next season, recently confirmed he wants to complete the majority of his business before United resume training in July.

Butler, aged 30, informed Walsall he does not intends to explore “other options” when his contract expires shortly following talks with Clough’s counterpart Dean Smith.

“It’s his prerogative,” Smith said. “He wants to be able to look elsewhere and see what other options are available to him.”

Scunthorpe are also thought to be interested in Butler who commutes to the Midlands from his home near Doncaster.

“If his future does lie away from us, we wish him well because he has been a fantastic servant to this football club over the years,” Smith added. “He has been a tremendous captain and leader and a well-respected figure, both on and off the field.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with him.”

St Mirren are understood to value McGinn, younger brother of United midfielder Stephen, at around four times the amount they were offered 24 hours ago.

The teenager has been capped by Scotland at under-19 and under-21 level.

“Following media speculation regarding player John McGinn, we can confirm that we have received an offer for John which was well below our valuation of the player and was rejected immediately,” a St Mirren spokesperson said.

McGinn and Stefan Scougall, who joined United from Livingston in January, have both been selected to represent their country when The Netherlands visit Paisley for a UEFA under-21 European Championship qualifier next week.

McGinn is contracted to St Mirren until next summer after being handed a new deal in November 2012.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1