Sheffield United set sights on striker target on loan before Friday’s transfer deadline

Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd
Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd

Sheffield United are interested in Middlesbrough striker Ashley Fletcher - but must overcome a familiar obstacle to bring him in before this week’s loan transfer deadline.

United boss Chris Wilder is thought to have identified Boro forward Fletcher as a target before Friday’s 5pm deadline, with the former West Ham striker on the periphery of Tony Pulis’ plans at the Riverside.

But, like in their pursuit of Aston Villa’s Scott Hogan, United must wait for Boro to sign a replacement before a loan move for Fletcher is sanctioned. Pulis has been linked with a £10m move for Portuguese winger Rafa Silva, while Rudy Gestede may yet join Nottingham Forest.

As The Star revealed yesterday, Wilder is scheduled to hold further talks with Villa - who his side face this weekend - as they attempt to thrash out a loan deal for Hogan.

“We are just waiting on other clubs to do business, to free players up,” said Wilder before last weekend’s victory at Bolton.

“I am quite amazed by the power and strength of clubs who we are competing with. I think sometimes that gets forgotten by everyone around this football club, what we are up against and competing with.

“Would we like to be in a situation where we call the shots? We would love to be that powerful club that has all the resources that goes with trying to get a team out of this division. But we are not.”

Meanwhile, Wilder will take a strong squad to the Coach and Horses ground in Dronfield next Tuesday for a friendly match against Sheffield FC, for Club legend Matt Roney’s testimonial. Roney has played almost 500 games for Club over 13 years. Tickets are £8 for adults and £4 for kids, and will support Macmillan Cancer Charity.