SHEFFIELD United have failed in their bid to sign John Fleck and Kyle Hutton.
Despite protracted negotiations with the Football League aimed at bringing the Glasgow Rangers duo to England, Bramall Lane officials yesterday confirmed they had exhausted all possible options in a bid to resolve a dispute which has dragged on since last week’s transfer window.
By United’s own admission a loan deal for the pair, who have both represented Rangers at Champions League level, failed to be processed before the 11pm deadline.
But despite submitting a dossier of evidence suggesting a technological error was to blame for the delay, United director Scott McCabe said: “It has been a very frustrating time for all concerned.
“Everyone in the football administration team and the club has worked very hard to try and make these transfers happen but we have had to eventually admit defeat.
“We had expected the transfers to go through and were surprised when we were told they had not been completed in time.”
Although the emergence of Erik Tonne, who netted his second goal in as many outings during the 4-0 defeat of Bury, will temper some of Danny Wilson’s disappointment, McCabe acknowledged that coaching staff have already identified several potential alternatives.
United are understood to have explored various ways of pushing through moves for Fleck and Hutton during their talks with the governing body.
“The manager will now move on to other targets,” McCabe added. “Transfers can break down for many reasons so Danny will already have in mind other options to strengthen the squad.”
United’s performances this season have seen Wilson and Stephen Quinn nominated for the League One Manager and Player of the Month awards.
Wilson has won five and drawn one of his six outings in the competition so far this term with Quinn, who was the subject of a failed £250,000 bid by Blackpool on transfer deadline day, emerging as a driving force behind that run.
Les Parry (Tranmere Rovers), Chris Powell (Charlton Athletic) and Karl Robinson (MK Dons) compete with Wilson for the manager’s title while Graham Alexander (Preston North End), Ryan Lowe (Sheffield Wednesday) and Luke Chadwick (MK Dons) are also being considered alongside Quinn. The winners will be announced on Friday.
United supporters have been reminded that no further tickets are available for Saturday’s trip to Scunthorpe after selling-out their entire allocation.