Mellor talks drag on for Wednesday

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NEIL Mellor’s on-off transfer to Sheffield Wednesday remains in serious doubt despite another round of talks yesterday.

Negotiations are ongoing between Hillsborough officials and Mellor’s representatives but no deal appears imminent, The Star understands.

The Owls had agreed a transfer fee with Mellor’s parent club Preston North End 10 days ago but the switch fell through, as the forward could not agree personal terms.

Mellor, aged 28, is thought to be on around £9,000 a week at Deepdale and he has one year remaining of his contract with the Lilywhites.

He notched 20 goals in a season-long loan spell at Wednesday last term and the former Liverpool ace has admitted he would be happy to join the club on a permanent basis.

As things stand, Mellor is poised to return to Preston for the start of pre-season training when his loan deal expires next week.

A source told The Star: “At the moment, it is still not any closer than it was a week ago to being done. But both parties are in dialogue and there is a willingness to try and get something sorted out.”

Discussions have stalled over Mellor’s pay packet, and Wednesday are refusing to pay over what they consider an appropriate League One salary as they bid to reduce their wage bill.

Owls manager Gary Megson is reported to be lining up a move for Ipswich Town striker Jason Scotland should he fail in his attempts to bring back Mellor. He is searching for a minimum of one new attacker in the transfer market, having released Paul Heffernan last week. The Dubliner joined Scottish Premier League outfit Kilmarnock.

Wednesday are expected to find out whether or not out-of-contract trio James O’Connor, Jermaine Johnson and Lewis Buxton are to accept the new terms offered to them as their contracts run out on June 30.