Sheffield United: Tug of war for Blades striker

Lyle Taylor is much admired at Falkirk Stadium after impressing during a previous spell with the Scottish Championship club
Lyle Taylor is much admired at Falkirk Stadium after impressing during a previous spell with the Scottish Championship club

Lyle Taylor could be poised to leave Bramall Lane after a second Scottish club expressed an interest in the Sheffield United centre-forward, writes James Shield.

The Star understands that Falkirk, where Taylor scored 29 goals in 42 appearances before moving to Bramall Lane, are ready to compete with Partick Thistle for the right to acquire his services.

Nigel Clough recently acknowledged the 24-year-old, who joined Alan Archibald’s side on loan midway through last season, faces an uncertain future in South Yorkshire as United continue their makeover of the first team squad he inherited from predecessor David Weir.

Chris O’Grady is known to feature on the short-list of potential targets compiled by the former England international and his coaching staff following Clough’s appointment eight months ago.

Despite reports to the contrary, exploratory talks between United and Barnsley are already taken place with O’Grady’s present employers believed to have been presented with a proposed framework which could form the basis of future discussions.

Taylor hit the target seven times after arriving at Firhill in January, a record which prompted Archibald to admit he would explore the possibility of signing the striker on a permanent basis this summer.

But Falkirk, who last week unveiled Peter Houston as their new manager, are also thought to be keen on luring the United marksman back to Stirlingshire according to sources north of the border.

Taylor represented Millwall, AFC Bournemouth and Hereford before heading to Scotland in 2012.

He netted twice for United during October’s defeat by Coventry City but made only two starts after Clough was confirmed as David Weir’s permanent successor.

Meanwhile, Florent Cuvelier has been challenged to win a place in United’s starting eleven when he completes his rehabilitation from serious injury.

Cuvelier damaged knee ligaments on a his debut for Port Vale after heading to Staffordshire on loan in January.

The former Stoke City midfielder, who has represented Belgium at under-18 and under-21 level, put pen to paper on a three year contract with United when he parted company with City nine months ago and Clough said: “We didn’t really have a chance to take a good look at Flo in action which is why we let him go out (on loan) in the first place.

“Unfortunately, we all know what happened but he’s working really hard to get back and, when he does, we can take a good look at him again.

He’s been doing his treatment with us and really putting the effort in.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1