Sheffield Wednesday: Owls consider Johnson swoop

Sheffield Wednesday are tracking QPR striker Andy Johnson.
Sheffield Wednesday are tracking QPR striker Andy Johnson.

Sheffield Wednesday could be set to swoop for Queens Park Rangers striker Andy Johnson.

Stuart Gray, the Owls head coach, is seeking to strengthen his attacking options over the close season and Johnson is believed to be on the Owls’ radar.

The former England international, who notched two goals in 20 outings for the Hoops during the 2013/14 campaign, including the winner against Wednesday on the opening day, is poised to leave Loftus Road this summer following their promotion to the Premier League.

Johnson’s contract is set to expire shortly and he is unlikely to be offered a new deal by the London club.

The Star understands the Owls tried to sign the 33-year-old on a temporary basis earlier this year.

It is thought Wednesday asked Harry Redknapp, the QPR manager, for permission to borrow Johnson but he knocked back their request.

An ankle injury prevented Johnson from being involved in the Hoops’ successful play-off tilt. You have to go back to February 10 for the last time he featured in QPR colours.

Johnson, who has previously played for Birmingham City, Crystal Palace, Everton and Fulham, has spent the majority of his QPR career nursing a knee injury.

Although Gray has yet to speak to owner Hafiz Mammadov regarding the playing budget, the Owls boss wants to increase his firepower.

As this newspaper confirmed last week, Gray will be given an opportunity to prove his credentials by Mammadov. He is acutely aware he will be judged by the players he recruits over the summer.

“I am looking to mould my own team and bring the average age down,” he said. “We will need a little bit of youth and experience. You have got to have fit players who can play Saturday, Tuesday and Saturday.”

Gray prefers not to discuss transfers until they are completed but has openly admitted he is keen on bringing Sam Hutchinson back to Hillsborough. The defender/midfielder is a free agent, having been released by top-flight heavyweights Chelsea. He impressed while on loan with the Owls last season.

Gray said: “Sam is a quality player who did well for us.”

He added: “I’m always interested in players who I think can improve us.”