Sheffield Wednesday’s League One rivals could lose star to Middlesbrough as Blackburn eye National League ace

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Sheffield Wednesday’s third tier rivals could lose key man while the Owls await January transfer window

Currently sitting third in League One, Sheffield Wednesday will be preparing for their 16th match of the league so far when they take on Bristol Rovers later this evening. (Wednesday 26 October).

They have won nine out of their 15 games so far, only suffering three losses, and a win against Joey Barton’s side later on could see them edge even closer to those top two positions.

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Against Rovers this evening, it is expected Darren Moore will bring George Byers back into the mix instead of Will Vaulks while Ben Heneghan could find himself replaced by Dominic Iorfa in the back line as the Owls look to close down the gap to the top two League One spots.

As the Owls prepare for their upcoming fixture against the Rovers, here is all the latest news from Sheffield Wednesday and their League One rivals…

League One star attracts Championship attention

Shrewsbury Town’s Tom Bayliss has been fast attracting the eyes of several Championship managers including the new boss at Middlesbrough. Michael Carrick has recently been confirmed as the new manager of Boro.

The Northern side have been without a manager since sacking Chris Wilder earlier in October and the former Manchester United star is already looking to make his move in the transfer season with forward Bayliss being eyed up. According to the72, Bayliss, who has five goal contributions to his name already this season, is also being watched by Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool and Reading

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Bayliss, 23, was formerly at Coventry City and Preston North End, has played 15 matches so far this 2022/23 season, scoring three goals in his capacity as midfielder. He was signed to Shrewsbury from Preston earlier this summer on a two-year deal with a one-year extension option.

Tom Bayliss (R) battles for possession for Preston North EndTom Bayliss (R) battles for possession for Preston North End
Tom Bayliss (R) battles for possession for Preston North End

Ex-Portsmouth star favourite to take Premier League job

The former Portsmouth midfielder Gary O’Neil has been the caretaker of Bournemouth FC since they let Scott Parker go in August. He is now the bookies’ favourite to take the job on a permanent basis and in his eight games in charge, he has picked up two wins, two draws and two losses.

While O’Neil is currently the firm favourite, he may well be in competition with the former Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder and the current manager for Luton Town, Nathan Jones if the oddsmakers are to be believed.

O’Neil was at the Owls’ rivals Portsmouth from 2000 to 2007 before moving to Middlesbrough. He made 174 league appearances for Pompey and scored 16 goals during his time. He survived several managers re-building of the squad, including Harry Redknapp and Alain Perrin, but finally departed following two loan spells with Walsall and Cardiff City at the end of the 2007 season.

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After leaving the pitch in 2018, O’Neil joined the coaching staff at Bournemouth in February 2021 and has remained with the Premier League side during their promotion to the top tier league and through both Parker and former manager Jonathan Woodgate’s departures.

Bristol Rovers linked with National League star

Bristol Rovers are reportedly on the hunt for the National League star Maxim Kouogun. The 25-year-old has played in all 15 matches for the Minstermen since their promotion from National League North this season, with the team keeping five clean sheets when he has been present. In late August, the defender also scored his side’s only goal in the 1-0 win over Maidenhead United.

A report from Alan Nixon suggested that Barton had been watching over the growing talent due to his continued impressive performances for the National League side.

York City’s first-team coach, Kingsley James, has however said to the York Press: “We’ve not had any approach or anything like that. That’s not to say that there isn’t any interest, there may well be.”

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