Andy Williams was due to discuss a move to Sheffield United just hours before Nigel Clough was sacked as manager, writes James Shield.
As The Star revealed earlier this week, Clough was monitoring two players involved in Sunday’s League One play-off final between Swindon Town and Preston North End as potential targets during the summer transfer window.
Sources close to Williams, whose contract at the County Ground is set to expire, have confirmed he featured on the former England international’s shopping list. However, talks between Clough and the centre-forward had reached a more advanced stage than first thought with Williams, who scored 22 goals in 53 appearances for Swindon last term, scheduled to visit South Yorkshire for detailed negotiations and a tour of the Redtooth Academy training complex.
Williams, aged 28, is expected to leave Wiltshire as United’s divisional rivals reshape their squad after being beaten at Wembley. He featured during the first-leg of the play-off semi-final between the two teams but missed the return, which ended with Mark Cooper’s side scoring a 7-6 aggregate victory, through injury.
Massimo Luongo and Ben Gladwin, who also helped to end United’s hopes of a return to the Championship, are poised to be officially unveiled by Queens Park Rangers after impressing senior figures at Loftus Road.
“I’d think there’ll be a lot of comings and goings,” Cooper said following the defeat by North End. “We’ve got to make sure we get our recruitment right, we need more steel.”
Meanwhile, former United midfielder Stephen Quinn has been offered a new contract by Hull City. Quinn rejected a package tabled by the club, which was relegated from the Premier League last weekend, in December.
However his representative is expected to discuss City’s proposal after the Republic of Ireland’s games against England and Scotland later this summer.
Bolton Wanderers have previously been linked with a move for Quinn who made 239 appearances for United before arriving at the KC Stadium in 2012.
Harry Maguire, who also left United for City 10 months ago, could be set for more first team opportunities after making only three appearances for Steve Bruce’s side last season.