Lucas Joao has been told he is free to leave Sheffield Wednesday on loan before the transfer window shuts next week.
The 23-year-old, who notched a double in the development squad’s 3-1 win over Charlton Athletic yesterday, has not played for the Owls’ senior side since January.
The Angolan-born forward spent the final three months of the 2016/17 season on loan at Blackburn Rovers. He found the back of the net on three occasions, with 10 of his 13 outings coming as a substitute.
Joao returned to Hillsborough in the summer and was given some game time in their pre-season programme.
But the former Nacional player has not been involved in a single match-day squad this season.
He has fallen behind Steven Fletcher, Gary Hooper, Jordan Rhodes, Fernando Forestieri, Sam Winnall and Atdhe Nuhiu in Wednesday’s striking pecking order.
Boss Carlos Carvalhal has told The Star: “Lucas knows what the situation is.
“He’s a player that we expect to go to some club to play by the end of August.”
Since arriving from Nacional in July 2015, Joao has claimed nine goals in 60 Owls appearances. His pace and ability to run in behind defences gave Wednesday a handy attacking option in Carvalhal’s first season at the helm.
But Joao struggled to force his way into the side after Wednesday added Fletcher to their array of striking options last summer. His last Owls goal came in the League Cup over a year ago.
Carvalhal added: “If Lucas doesn’t leave and go on loan, he will fight for a position like everybody else.”
There is a strong chance Carvalhal will field a much-changed forward line in their second round Carabao Cup encounter at Bolton Wanderers tonight, kick-off 8pm. Fernando Forestieri, Jordan Rhodes and Sam Winnall are in the frame to play.
Carvalhal has promised to field a strong side against the Trotters, who have Owls old boys Mark Beevers and Gary Madine in their ranks.
Wednesday are currently on a four-match unbeaten run and Carvalhal wants them to maintain their momentum.
Carvalhal, who led the Owls to the quarter-finals of the competition in 2015, said: “It is the next game so it is the most important game of the season and we are taking it very seriously.
“We won’t take any risks. Our main competition is the Championship but we will put a strong team to try and win the game. We will try to go as far as we can.
“The preparation is the same for this game as it was for Fulham. We have prepared for the game, analysed the opponent an we will try to do our best.”