Hearts left-back Danny Grainger will join Sheffield United for pre-season training with a view to signing a permanent deal, the Sheffield Telegraph can reveal.
The Bramall Lane club, who expect their search for a new manager to continue into next week, have offered the defender a chance to impress after he was informed that his contract at Tynecastle was not going to be renewed.
Grainger hasn’t played a first-team game for the Scottish side since last November, when he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his knee in a Scottish Premier League game against Motherwell.
This newspaper understands that Grainger’s knee will be assessed by United’s medical staff, and could be offered terms if he passes a rigorous physical examination.
Grainger himself has confirmed the arrangement on Twitter, saying: “They (United) want to see that my knee is fine, that’s all. By the time I get there, it will be.
“It’s been a rollercoaster at Hearts, but I wouldn’t change a minute.
“Here’s hoping a new start brings as much joy as the Jambos - I’m looking forward to it.”
United’s chief executive Julian Winter, meanwhile, has appealed to supporters to be patient as the delay in appointing a new manager rumbles on.
“It is quite frustrating, co-ordination of candidates has been quite difficult due to their holidays,” Winter said.
“But we need to take our time and get this right. We need to do all our checks on candidates.
“But we are nearly there.”
The new United manager will be tasked with utilising a number of talented players from the club’s academy set-up, including Callum McFadzean and Joe Ironside.
Former defender Robert Page and Wally Downes, who had a spell at Bramall Lane under ex-United manager Dave Bassett, have emerged as candidates for the role, whilst former Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn boss Michael Appleton is also known to be under consideration.
Winter, in a local radio interview, also offered an insight into the interview process which has seen the four-man selection panel, which includes ex-manager Dave Bassett, meet around seven candidates.
One of those, Australian coach Graham Arnold of the Central Coast Mariners, withdrew from the running and branded United “prehistoric”.
“I am disappointed by his unprofessional remarks,” Winter added.
“Graham was asked some retrospective questions about how the Yeovil (Play-Off semi-final) game went, so maybe that’s where he got that idea from.
“We want someone with a clear football philosophy, who will encourage talented players to express themselves on the field.”