ALAN Irvine has admitted that he faces competition in his attempt to borrow QPR winger Lee Cook.
He has also revealed that he would like to sign Cook on loan for the rest of the season.
That would mean a deal having to be done before next Monday’s closure of the January transfer window.
The loan market reopens a week after that but only emergency loans are allowed then and there would be a possibility of the Owls not being able to keep the player for the whole of their remaining campaign.
“There are a number of clubs who have made inquiries,” said Irvine, who has made one of his own. “They’ll be looking at it to see how good a deal they can get.
“He’s on quite big wages and they [QPR] will be looking to recoup that as much as they can. There’s a certain level we would go to.”
The Owls boss spoke of his admiration for the 28-year-old’s ability: “He’s an unfortunate lad; he’s had some bad injuries; it’s a real shame, because he’s a talented footballer.
“He’s intelligent, with a sweet left foot, he’s a nice crosser of the ball, with good delivery from set-pieces.
“Without the injuries, he would have had a very successful career.”
Irvine has also been linked with Portsmouth’s Richard Hughes. He says he is aware of the experienced midfield player’s situation but has not made an inquiry.
He explained: “He’s in a strange position: if he plays one more game or appears on a team sheet, I think, he gets a new contract at a fairly high level.
“We’re aware of him. I know his dad - he did a bit of scouting for Everton in Italy. He [the player] is on wages we can’t afford. I’ve not contacted anybody at Portsmouth about him.”
One of Irvine’s new signings, Gary Madine, is cup-tied for tomorrow’s match against Hereford.
The £400,000 striker played for Carlisle in their 6-0 first-round win against Tipton, 3-2 second-round victory against Tamworth, and 1-0 third-round defeat at Torquay.
His absence, after a reasonably good start to his Hillsborough career and a goal against Yeovil, is likely to mean a recall for Clinton Morrison or a rare start for Paul Heffernan, assuming Neil Mellor keeps his place after his return against Yeovil.
Lewis Buxton returned to training yesterday; once again Irvine faces the dilemma of whether to plunge him into the side soon after his recovery from a hamstring injury. The gamble did not fully pay off at Leyton Ortient, where he had to stay off at half-time.
Irvine could decide to give him extra time, with the league campaign taking precedence over the cup, and that may mean Tommy Spurr filling in once again as emergency right-back.