SHEFFIELD United will not consider resurrecting their interest in Will Hoskins until the striker has proved his fitness at Brighton.
Danny Wilson, the United manager, revealed this week that a new centre-forward is “top priority” as he seeks to equip his team with the firepower required to challenge for promotion next season.
Hoskins, who joined United on loan in January, had been scheduled to finish last term in South Yorkshire but returned to Albion following April’s defeat at MK Dons, complaining a hernia complaint was hampering his progress.
Wilson said: “We’ve kept tabs on Will but his situation has not changed. He’s doing nothing at the moment and it is vital that he starts playing some games.
“That won’t be until next season obviously so we’re not looking at him at the moment.”
Wilson had coveted Hoskins “for a considerable period of time” after signing him during January’s transfer window.
Gus Poyet, Wilson’s counterpart at Brighton, expressed his disappointment at the former Rotherham centre-forward’s willingness to leave Sussex. But, citing homesickness as a factor, Nottingham born Hoskins elected to ignore the Uruguyan’s pleas and accept United’s offer.
However, earlier this month, Hoskins, who scored twice in four starts, confirmed he is ready to force himself back into Poyet’s plans. Intriguingly, though, he appeared to leave the door open to another approach from United.
“I love the way the gaffer (Poyet) plays his football,” Hoskins said, “So I don’t want to rubbish myself away from a great club with great management but will the gaffer be here? You don’t know, that’s how mad football is. I’ve been speaking to the physios, getting prepared and ready for next year,” Hoskins added.
“I have got another year at Brighton. You never know what happens in football but I’m just preparing to be fit for pre-season.”
Wilson has made no secret of the fact that he wants to increase his attacking options. Indeed, he’s acknowledged that the loss of Ched Evans and Hoskins en route to May’s play-off final had contributed to United’s defeat by Huddersfield Town.
Wycome Wanderers’ Stuart Beavon and David Wotherspoon of Hibernian are two of the names under consideration as Wilson prepares to overhaul his squad.
Former Leeds defender Ben Parker and Dundee United centre-half Gary Kenneth are also believed to have attracted interest from Bramall Lane.
“Our scouting networks have looked around,” Wilson said. “We’ll have a dossier on most of those players.”
Meanwhile, United have agreed a sponsorship agreement with Redtooth.
The entertainment firm’s logo will feature on the team’s away shirts next season.