Sheffield United: Clough is already keeping tabs on Maguire

Nigel Clough admits he is an "admirer" of Leeds captain Jason Pearce (centre).
Nigel Clough admits he is an "admirer" of Leeds captain Jason Pearce (centre).
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Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, has confirmed he could be tempted to try and recapture Harry Maguire on loan less than a month after the former England under-21 centre-half completed a £2.5m transfer to Hull City, writes James Shield.

But Clough, who also revealed an interest in Leeds captain Jason Pearce ahead of tonight’s Capital One Cup tie at West Ham, acknowledged United’s chances of brokering a deal might depend upon whether their Yorkshire rivals qualify for the Europa League.

Maguire made his City debut during last week’s qualifier against Lokeren but could see his chances of regular first team action at the KC Stadium hampered by Michael Dawson’s imminent arrival from Tottenham Hotspur.

“We’d always be open to the prospect of Harry coming back if the chance arose,” Clough said. “There wouldn’t be any problem with the fans because he gave his absolute all after coming through the ranks here.

“It might be interesting to see how things develop with Dawson and also, I would imagine, how they do in Europe and also the League Cup.”

Maguire made 166 appearances for United after graduating from their Redtooth Academy three years ago.

Clough added: “We know (City manager) Steve Bruce well. He kicked me enough times when we were both players and get along.

“But, even if Harry did go out (on loan), he might want to go to a Championship club to help him make the step up.”

Clough, whose side climbed to 12th in the League One table following Saturday’s victory over Crawley Town, admitted United are monitoring Pearce’s situation at Elland Road as they look to bolster their defensive options before next week’s transfer deadline.

“Jason is someone we admire but he’s the captain of a Championship club and has played every game for them,” Clough said. “So that might prove a little but beyond us.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1