Sheffield United: It’s make your mind up time for O’Grady

Barnsley's Chris O'Grady .
Barnsley's Chris O'Grady .
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Sheffield United, who could unveil Craig Alcock as their eighth summer signing later this week, will threaten to walk away from a proposed deal to sign Chris O’Grady unless the Barnsley centre-forward quickly decides whether he is destined for Bramall Lane.

The Star understands that a provisional agreement over how much it would cost to recruit O’Grady has already been reached during top secret talks between representatives of the two clubs.

But with the former Leicester City and Sheffield Wednesday striker yet to thrash-out personal terms, manager Nigel Clough is ready to pursue alternative lines of enquiry in the transfer market after expanding United’s short-list of potential targets.

Although Clough has refused to comment on how negotiations with the player are progressing - or if they have even taken place - he acknowledged his scouting department are monitoring a number of strikers capable of catapulting United towards promotion.

“Things can change very quickly at this time of year,” he said. “New options, which might not have previously been there, always open-up as we get closer to the start of the new season.

“Teams don’t want to part company with their best people easily. That’s a given.

“But as different things get done, the whole pictures changes. You can only have so many (players) on your books and so other bits of business can have a knock on effect.

“We are aware of several situations that might develop exactly like that.”

Alcock, aged 26, progressed through the ranks at Yeovil Town before making 112 appearances for Peterborough. However, despite helping Darren Ferguson’s side lift the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in March, the right-back’s contract at London Road has been allowed to expire.

Although Ferguson subsequently attempted to retain Alcock’s services, United are now expected to step into the breach after meeting with the defender and his agent.

Alcock also featured at centre-half and left-back during the previous campaign.

O’Grady, whose commanding performances were unable to prevent Barnsley being relegated from the Championship three months ago, is expected to leave Oakwell as Clough’s predecessor Danny Wilson looks to reshape his squad.