Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough may be forced to play the waiting game if he follows up his interest in Southampton striker Billy Sharp.
The Bramall Lane boss is keen to add more firepower to his United squad, and admitted towards the end of last season that he is monitoring Sharp’s situation on the south coast.
But, fresh from losing manager Maurico Pochettino and striker Rickie Lambert to Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool respectively, it is understood that officials at St Mary’s Stadium will not sanction any more transfer activity until the Argentine’s replacement has been confirmed.
“We are staying true to our plan and vision and, as a result, we have no need to accept any offers at the moment,” a Southampton statement read.
“We are deep in the process of appointing a new manager who will continue to move our club forward. It remains our preference not to partake in any transfers until the new manager is in place.”
Sharp’s future at the Premier League club appeared all but over towards the end of last season, when the 28-year-old revealed that Pochettino had sent him out on loan without even seeing him train.
“It’s been a frustrating season,” Sharp added.
“I’ve got a year left on my deal at Southampton, but I’d be kidding myself if I said I had a future there. I know I am good enough to play in that Southampton team but I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance.
“If I haven’t got a future there, then my agent needs to sort something out for me but I’ve showed I am capable of playing games. I perhaps didn’t score as many goals as I’d have liked but I just need someone to believe in me, and take a chance on me.
“Hopefully I can get settled down somewhere and get back on track.”
Sharp, who this week travels to Las Vegas to marry his fiancée, also has an 18-month-old son, Leo, and is understood to want to settle at a club up north, near to his Sheffield roots.
If Clough does firm up his interest, he is likely to face stiff competition from a host of Championship clubs, for a player who is approaching the 150 career goals mark.
Sharp, a boyhood Blades fan, has already had two spells at Bramall Lane. He made two substitute appearances after coming through the ranks, and returned in 2007 after scoring 57 goals in 95 games at Scunthorpe.
But he couldn’t hold down a place in then-manager Kevin Blackwell’s side, and was sold to Doncaster Rovers, where he had a spell on loan last season.