Battle for Ben

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GARY Megson faces an anxious wait in his bid to keep Ben Marshall - with the Owls’ promotion rivals, Huddersfield, eyeing the on-loan Stoke winger.

The chances of Megson landing him on a full deal or an extended loan seem to depend on Stoke’s plans for him and on whether the costs will fall within Wednesday’s range.

Megson is keen to keep the 20-year-old who has played a key part in the Owls’ rise to second in the table, which has pushed Huddersfield down to third.

Marshall has expressed a wish to stay and has become a big favourite of the fans.

But Huddersfield are also understood to be planning a bid - and this will concern Owls supporters in view of the Terriers’ reputation as League One big spenders.

When asked to comment on Marshall, Megson said: “When loan players are successful then that pushes the case for them to go back to their clubs or somewhere else. It’s always a worry. We have half a dozen in that situation.

“I’d love to be able to sign Ben but we have to wait and see what the circumstances are, both at this club and at Stoke.”

Chairman Milan Mandaric has operated a budget that he regards as sensible for League One. The club were put off by inflated prices asked for some strikers in the summer.

But Mandaric has also said that he will back Megson in January.

Megson always prefers full deals rather than loans and says that the loan market grows more difficult next month:

“It becomes harder than it is in the summer. The clubs who have been loaning players out know that from January there’s no going back, especially for Premier League clubs who have to name a squad of 25.”

n Owls: P42