Sheffield United: Clough confirms Billy interest

Billy Clarke in action against Preston North End
Billy Clarke in action against Preston North End
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Sheffield United, who were last night holding talks with Blackpool aimed at signing Bob Harris on a permanent basis, could resurrect their interest in Crawley Town’s Billy Clarke during the forthcoming loan window.

Nigel Clough confirmed before yesterday’s transfer deadline that Clarke was “one name on a list” of potential targets as United look to bolster the attacking options within the former England international’s squad.

With Billy Paynter, Stefan Scougall, John Brayford and Harris all arriving at Bramall Lane in recent weeks, Clough insisted he did not want protracted negotiations “overshadowing and distracting” his team’s preparations for this afternoon’s League One fixture at Crewe Alexandra.

But he acknowledged that Clarke, who enjoyed a brief spell on loan with United three years ago, being monitored by officials at Bramall Lane.

“Billy is one of a number of names,” Clough said. “But we haven’t really progressed anything yet so we’ll see what happens next week.

“We’re looking for something a little bit different and we have a few people in mind.”

Harris made his United debut during Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Fulham after agreeing a month long move to South Yorkshire. Tony McMahon, who travelled in the opposite direction as part of that deal, has since seen his registration taken over by the Championship club.

Clough said: “We’re trying to take Bob until the end of the season which, if we can, frees up another loan. We initially did a loan just to get everything over the line.”