Owls aiming to sign a complete team of players

Owls v Wycombe.....GOAL....Michail Antonio celebrates the first goal
Owls v Wycombe.....GOAL....Michail Antonio celebrates the first goal

Sheffield Wednesday are only halfway into a recruitment drive that is aimed to net up to a dozen new players, chairman Milan Mandaric reveals today.

“All together, we’re looking to sign 10 to 12 players this summer,” Mandaric told the Telegraph.

The Owls owner pledged to support manager Dave Jones in a push for quality loans from the Premier League and promised a continuing bid to bring back promotion hero Michail Antonio from Reading.

Mandaric also admits that the Owls are approaching the more expensive end of the summer trading in switching their sights to attacking areas after making a start in snatching Derby striker Chris Maguire for an undisclosed fee.

The other four summer captures - Chris Kirkland, Kieran Lee, Anthony Gardner and Joe Mattock - were all picked up on free transfers, though the wages will be substantial in some cases.

“Things are going according to the plan and I’m very happy with the progress,” said Mandaric. “But it’s not over yet. We have a way to go. We are entering a very competitive league in the Championship.

“The plan was to improve the team as a whole. We started from the goalkeeper (Kirkland) forwards. Now we’re looking at the midfield and front line.

“We’ve tried to get the best Bosmans before other people. At the same time, we are always looking at fee transfers. But that will take a bit longer and we’ll see what happens.”

Wednesday are unlikely to plunge into expensive deals before they see what might be available from the top flight loan market. Mandaric added: “We’ve got to be careful not to rush. There will be additional players to look at when the Premier League clubs start deciding who they will release and who they will keep.”

That’s why boss Jones, who has shown a refreshing commitment to permanent signings so far, will probably end up with a combination of the two.

“We don’t want to overlook some quality that is not for sale,” said Mandaric. “The challenge is to get a proper mix. Remember the massive quality that Ben Marshall and Michail Antonio brought to the team last season.”

Reading are understood to have rejected a £350,000 Owls bid for Antonio but talks are ongoing. “We’re still there, we’re not giving up,” said Mandaric.

Wednesday’s chairman also admits that some departures are on the cards to “help find clubs” for players whose opportunities will be limited.