Sheffield United could attempt to exploit the financial difficulties being experienced by some Championship clubs as Chris Wilder looks to increase his squad's firepower.
A number of United's divisional rivals, including Derby County and Aston Villa, are set to embark on cost cutting exercises after failing to win promotion last term.
Those, combined with the English Football League's Profit and Sustainability regulations, are expected to reveal several fresh lines of enquiry in the transfer market for Wilder to explore. Scott Hogan, who joined Steve Bruce's side in a £15m deal from Brentford a year-and-a-half ago, is expected to be declared surplus to requirements as owner Tony Xia tries to slash costs behind the scenes at Villa Park. The Star understands Wilder is an admirer of the centre-forward despite his difficulties in the Midlands and would consider an offer to sign him on loan.
United have made no secret of their desire to bolster Wilder's attacking options ahead of next month's Championship opener against Swansea City, with Southampton's Sam Gallagher also being lined-up for a move to Bramall Lane. Aged 22, the former England under-20 international is believed to be interest in the idea of moving to South Yorkshire albeit, due to his contractual situation at St Mary's, on a temporary basis. Provisional talks between United and the Premier League outfit are believed to have taken place last month, with a further round of negotiations possible this weekend as Wilder and his staff seek to broker an acceptable agreement for all three parties concerned.
With goalkeeper Dean Henderson arriving on a season loan basis from Manchester United, an experienced centre-half completes United's list of priorities as Wilder seeks to address the "small details" he believes cost them top six qualification last term.
Hogan, who has scored eight goals in 37 appearances for Villa, represented Stocksbridge Park Steels earlier in his career. United visit his former club this evening (kick-off 7.30pm) for the first of six friendlies they are scheduled to play before the televised meeting with City on August 4. Wilder's team face Maritimo in Portugal next week and yesterday confirmed they will host Internazionale on July 24. The Italian giants and three-time European champions finished 4th in Serie A last season and recently unveiled Belgian Radja Nainggolan following his £33m transfer from Roma.