Derby County midfielder James Bailey could become a potential transfer target for Sheffield United, when his contract at the iPro Stadium expires next month.
Bailey, who made just one league appearance for the Championship play-off finalists last season, has been informed by Rams boss Steve McClaren that his Derby contract will not be renewed.
And Bramall Lane boss Nigel Clough, who spent five years in charge of the Midlands club, could offer a deal to the midfielder, who can also operate at right-back.
Bailey said: “Thank you to every one at Derby. I wish the club well but now it’s on to the next challenge.”
The 25-year-old had a loan spell at Coventry City, and has featured against United twice in his career. Clough signed 25-year-old Bailey from Crewe in 2010, alongside former United loanee John Brayford.
He was reportedly a target for then-United boss Kevin Blackwell, but the emergence of Will Hughes and Jeff Hendrick pushed him further down the pecking order and he was transfer listed in 2012.
Clough said at the time: “I was surprised we didn’t have more inquiries for him because, although he had a couple of injuries, we still think he is a good Championship midfielder.”