Sheffield Wednesday shut down audacious transfer raid from promotion rivals Derby County amid defender's new year renaissance
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On what was an otherwise quiet deadline day of the winter window for the Owls, fellow League One high flyers Derby County are understood to have launched a speculative last-minute effort to steal Jack Hunt away from Hillsborough.
It’s a deal that would have paired the defender back up with his former Rotherham United coach Paul Warne, with a potential structured free transfer offer believed to have been mooted – albeit briefly.
Wednesday swiftly stamped out any notion of the deal, with Hunt having fought his way back into first team reckoning in the new year.
With the landscape of Wednesday’s right-hand side having changed in recent weeks and with Hunt having shown solid form in recent outings, it could well be that the Yorkshire-born wing-back proves to be an important figure as the Owls enter the business end of their title charge.
Having sat watching on from the sidelines throughout the first half of the campaign – a 135 day run saw him play only three minutes of league football in the lead up to new year – Hunt has played in six of their last nine league outings.
The 32-year-old started and performed well in an hour of their 5-2 comeback win over MK Dons having overcome a dead leg in the days before.
That dead leg was a niggle picked up in training that meant Hunt was unable to feature in either of the Owls’ two previous matches – a draw at Ipswich Town and a win over Morecambe. But with an hour under his belt against MK it seems likely he’ll be well in contention for this weekend’s trip to Charlton Athletic.
Interest in Hunt was not the first time Derby have launched an effort to take one of Wednesday’s more experienced players for nothing, having registered their interest in Lee Gregory on previous transfer windows.
Hunt’s future beyond this season remains unclear, with his contract believed to be coming to an end this summer.