Sheffield United: Clough goes on the attack

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Nigel Clough has revealed he could still be tempted to reinforce Sheffield United’s attack before Monday’s deadline for new signings, despite acknowledging that a new defender remains his top priority in the transfer market.

Clough has identified Hull City’s Harry Maguire and Leeds captain Jason Pearce as two potential targets despite hearing David Hockaday, his counterpart at Elland Road, insist the latter is not for sale.

But Clough, the United manager, refused to rule-out the possibility of strengthening a frontline already boasting the likes of Michael Higdon and Marc McNulty should the right opportunity emerge, saying: “If somebody came to our attention who we thought would improve us then, no, we wouldn’t turn it down.

“Defence is the main area we’re looking at and we’re well-stocked in midfield but there’s always a chance of doing something elsewhere as well.”

Although Clough told The Star United have yet to make an official approach for Pearce, they clearly feel the player could be lured to Bramall Lane if he falls out of favour at the Championship club.

Maguire, who commanded a £2.5m fee when he joined City from United last month, will be considered for a temporary move if Steve Bruce’s side fail to qualify for the Europa League.

“People will become available on loan when the Premier League clubs name their squads,” Clough said. “But often they’re at the younger end of the age spectrum or available for a reason.”

“There are always exceptions to the rule though so we’ll keep on top of things.”