SHEFFIELD Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric remains optimistic the club will sign Neil Mellor, the loan striker who scored 20 goals for them last season.
The Owls have made no secret of their desire to land Preston North End’s Mellor on a permanent basis and a transfer fee was agreed between the two parties last Friday.
Vice-chairman and chief executive Paul Aldridge had met with Mellor’s agent but the move collapsed over the weekend, as Wednesday failed to agree personal terms
with the 28-year-old forward.
Sheffield-born Mellor, who bagged 20 goals on a season long loan deal with Wednesday last season, is believed to be earning £9,000 a week at Preston and his contract does not expire until 2012.
Although negotiations have hit a stumbling block over Mellor’s wage demands, Mandaric has reassured fans he is looking to resurrect the move.
“We are still working on it; I’m confident of still making that happen,” he told The Star.
As it stands, Mellor will begin pre-season training with Preston later this month.
Maurice Lindsay, Preston’s chairman, has also confirmed: “The position is that Sheffield Wednesday have failed to agree terms with the player and at this stage he will be coming back at the end of June to Preston.”
Originally signed by Alan Irvine, Mellor was omitted from the starting line up in mid-March by boss Gary Megson. He was left out of the team for four matches after being substituted at half time against Notts County.
Megson handed Mellor a first-team recall in the home encounter with Colchester United at the start of April and the former Liverpool trainee responded with two goals.
Mellor went on to find the back of the net six times in his final eight appearances for the League One outfit.