Sheffield United: Thistle encouraged to bid for striker

Lyle Taylor (left) takes a free-kick during last season's SPL fixture against eventual champions Celtic
Lyle Taylor (left) takes a free-kick during last season's SPL fixture against eventual champions Celtic
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Patrick Thistle have received encouragement in their pursuit of Sheffield United’s Lyle Taylor after Nigel Clough confirmed the centre-forward will be allowed to leave Bramall Lane if the price is right, writes James Shield.

Taylor, who spent four months on loan at Firhill Stadium last season, is also believed to interest at least one other Scottish Premier League club after scoring seven goals in 20 appearances for Alan Archibald’s side.

Febian Brandy is another player facing an uncertain future in South Yorkshire following Clough’s decision to effectively make him available for transfer.

“We are speaking to Febian and Lyle but it is fair to say they would probably be available should the right offer come in for either of them,” the United manager said. “We want a competitive squad of around 18 or 19.”

Clough’s words can be interpreted as an open invitation to rivals teams interested in acquiring Taylor or Brandy to table bids. Walsall could emerge as the front-runners for Brandy’s signature after resigning the 25-year-old on a temporary basis within a fortnight of Taylor’s departure.

Both Brandy and the former Falkirk marksman are contracted to United until at least the end of next term.

Clough also shed further light on the decision to release Shaun Miller earlier this month. Rotherham have been linked with the striker whose United career was interrupted by a serious knee injury soon after arriving from Crewe Alexandra.

However Shrewsbury Town, where Miller finished the previous campaign on loan, will attempt to retain his services.

Admitting it was “difficult” to part company with Miller after his recovery, Clough said: “With regards to Shaun we couldn’t wait and gamble on his form or fitness. We have to hit the ground running in pre-season and we can’t afford any ifs or buts next season.”