Sheffield Wednesday remain confident of pipping Millwall to the signature of former Chelsea utility player Sam Hutchinson.
Lions boss Ian Holloway says they have offered free agent Hutchinson a deal and are waiting for an answer from the 24-year-old.
But, as The Star revealed last month, the Owls have also lodged a bid to Hutchinson’s representatives. He spent a big chunk of the second half of last season with the Championship outfit, playing 10 times, hitting one goal and picking up two red cards.
Wednesday boss Stuart Gray said: “Sam [Hutchinson] is a quality player and he did well for us.”
Hutchinson, who was forced to retire earlier in his career due to a knee injury before making a comeback, can play centre-back, right-back or as a holding midfielder.
Holloway said: “I’ve made it totally clear to Sam what I think he needs and what Millwall need. He’s in no doubt that I think he’d be very good for us. He’s weighing it all up.
“Coming here would be a step backwards financially because it won’t be anything near where he was at Chelsea.
“But I think the lad’s got his head on straight, he wants to get a solid year’s football under his belt and to play a certain way, so we might have a chance but it’s only a chance.
“If he doesn’t take it, I’ll wish him all the very best because I was so impressed with him when I met him.”
Leeds United and Huddersfield Town are also believed to be monitoring Hutchinson’s situation.
“The thing is, like with all the loan players we have signed, we have put them in the shop window and other managers will have seen what Sam can do,” acknowledged Gray.
Hutchinson has also previously enjoyed loan spells at Nottingham Forest and Dutch club Vitesse.
Holloway said: “Sam has got a lot of choices so he needs to sit down and have a think about them.
“He’s had a very traumatic few years because he would be in Chelsea’s first team if it wasn’t for some injuries.
“He’s someone who I see as being very useful to me because he can play in at least four positions and he would strengthen us up.
“If he chooses us, I will be delighted. If he doesn’t, we’ll have to move on.”