Sheffield United: Blades hope to make breakthrough

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Sheffield United are intensifying their efforts in the transfer market ahead of next week’s deadline for new signings, manager David Weir has confirmed. But Weir, who indicated he would prefer to make permanent acquisitions rather loans, insisted the process of monitoring potential targets will still continue long after the window has closed, writes James Shield.

“It’s an on-going process,” Weir said. “It doesn’t stop.”

As The Star first revealed yesterday, Coventry City’s Callum Wilson features on the list of centre-forwards United have scouted of late with Steven Pressley, Weir’s counterpart in the Midlands, acknowledging he has received an “inquiry” about the player’s availability.

Sources close to Stoke City and Oldham Athletic last night suggested that Florent Cuvelier and Jose Baxter, previously of Everton, have been monitored by representatives from Bramall Lane in recent weeks while Elazigspor’s Jake Jervis is another possibility.

Danny Philliskirk, the former United striker, has now agreed a two year deal at Boundary Park after initially returning to Athletic on non-contract terms.

“Danny has done really well since he arrived,” manager Lee Johnson said. “He is technically very good and an excellent finisher.

“He needs to become a man in his personality on the pitch and, if we can get that into his game, he can become a top player and back to where he was as a youngster.”

Weir, keen to observe footballing protocol, has refused to comment on United’s recruitment policy since taking charge of the South Yorkshire club in June.

But, speaking during his pre-match media briefing at the Redtooth Academy, he admitted watching City’s League One fixture against Preston North End four days ago.

“Yes, we were there,” Weir said. “I can’t deny that but we watch lots of games, all the time, up and down the country.”

Weir, whose team host MK Dons on Saturday, reported during his pre-match briefing that no bids have been received for Chris Porter while Danny Higginbotham could be poised to depart.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1