Aston Villa’s failure to reach the Premier League could push forward their attempts to bring in Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Sean Clare.
Villa lost the Championship Play-Off Final to Fulham at Wembley on Saturday, meaning they will spend a third year in the second tier, despite spending a sizable amount of money attempting to reach the top flight again.
A more prudent approach will be needed, with their parachute payments - around £15 million this coming year- following relegation from the Premier League in 2016, ending this season.
It is understood, as is the case for most teams chasing promotion, that Villa had drawn up two lists of potential targets depending on where they would be playing next season.
Clare was one of the players pencilled in should Steve Bruce’s side not manage to gain promotion.
The 21 year-old has been offered a new contract, with his current deal running out at the end of next month, however, the signs are that he will not be sticking around at Hillsborough.
Owls boss Jos Luhukay had earlier stated that it was up to Clare and fellow under 23s player George Hirst, who is also out of contract, whether they wanted to stay.
“They can sign but it depends on them. It’s a decision the players must make for their own futures,” he said.
It is expected, however, that both will leave Wednesday when their deals run out.
There was reported interest in Clare from Premier League sides, but it would appear much more likely he would go to a Championship side.
Indeed League One sides have been enquiring, however noises from Clare’s camp suggest the feeling is he can play at a higher level than that where he featured on loan last season with Gillingham.