Sheffield Wednesday are contemplating entering the race to sign out-of-favour Leicester City winger Anthony Knockaert.
The talented Frenchman, a key member of the Foxes’ Championship title-winning side last season, looked destined to join the Ipswich Town on loan earlier this week.
But Knockaert, who joined Leicester from French side Guingamp in 2012, pulled the plug on the switch and was due to have a meeting with manager Nigel Pearson on Wednesday to discuss his future.
Speaking before tomorrow’s Hillsborough encounter with Middlesbrough, Owls head coach Stuart Gray said he is a big admirer of Knockaert’s qualities as he seeks to bring in a new wide player.
Gray said: “I have always liked the boy. Anthony scored a great goal against us last season at their place.
“He’s proven he can get goals in the Championship. We are always interested in good players.”
Brentford, Wolves and several foreign sides are also thought to be keeping close tabs on Knockaert’s situation.
First-team opportunities have been limited for the 23-year-old at Leicester this campaign. Knockaert has started just three times in the top flight, making 11 appearances in total and none since January 17.
While Gray has confirmed Wednesday’s interest in Knockaert, he has ruled out making another move for Foxes striker Chris Wood.
“I think they [Leicester] are probably wanting something more permanent for the player,” said Gray, who is confident defenders Kamil Zayatte and Claude Dielna (both knee) will be fit to take on second-placed Boro.
“It was one we pursued, but Nigel (Pearson) didn’t let him out at the time, so we just have to carry and on keep knocking (on doors).”
Seafood magnate Dejphon Chansiri’s £30m takeover of Wednesday is expected to be ratified by the Football League in the next few days. Chansiri and outgoing chairman Milan Mandaric will hold a press conference at Hillsborough on Monday to talk in depth about the deal.
Gray added: “The owners are coming over today so hopefully we can sit down and discuss short-term and long-term (plans).”