Striker Scott Hogan has criticised former Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce for scuppering a potential move to Sheffield United.
Hogan emerged as one of the Blades’ top targets in the summer transfer window after manager Chris Wilder targeted proven Championship quality to add to his squad.
And in his first interview since Bruce was sacked as Villa boss, and replaced by his former Brentford chief Dean Smith, Hogan said: “I knocked on his door a couple of days before the window shut just to find out what was going on.
"Sheff United were very interested.
"I wasn't allowed to leave. He was adamant that he didn't want me to go, he said I had a future playing as a striker and I was assured we were going to change the way we were playing.
“The formation we played led to less chances, less touches in the box. But I did what the manager asked me to do, he only ever asked me to work hard.
“So it was disappointing for me two days later when he signed a striker [Tammy Abraham] and nothing changed at all.
“I then had an injury, which didn't help, but for the past five weeks I've been fit. So it's frustrating, but it's more frustrating when there is no answer. If you have a reason why you're not playing, you can go and work on it.
“People say you've got to be professional, train your best and all that, but it's difficult because you know you're not getting anything out of it. My head wasn't completely in it if I'm honest, because you knew no matter what you did that week, you weren't going to play, so there was nothing you could do except go home.”
Hogan’s best spell of form in the Championship came under Smith at Brentford, which led to a big-money move to Villa Park. And with the former Sheffield Wednesday man taking over at Villa, United’s chances of signing him may have slimmed if they do resurrect their interest in the striker.
Hogan has been called up to the Republic of Ireland squad despite not playing a minute of football for Villa this season after a groin injury, but says he has been fully fit for a month.