EXCLUSIVE: ‘Hand’s off’ Keiren Westwood and Tom Lees, warns Sheffield Wednesday owner Milan Mandaric

In control Owls keeper Keiren Westwood
In control Owls keeper Keiren Westwood

Owls chief Milan Mandaric has issued a hands-off warning to clubs interested in signing Keiren Westwood and Tom Lees, insisting: “We are not a selling club.”

A number of Premier League clubs are believed to be tracking goalkeeper Westwood, who has recorded 12 clean sheets this season, while centre-back Lees, according to a national newspaper, is attracting the interest of Sunderland.

Westwood and Lees, signed last summer, have played key roles in the Owls boasting one of the meanest defences in the Championship.

But despite speculation surrounding the duo’s futures, Mandaric says the club have received no inquires for any members of Stuart Gray’s squad.

He told The Star: “We don’t want to sell any players. We are not selling a club.

“Our agenda is different. We want to take the club forward and without Keiren [Westwood] or Tom [Lees] it would be very difficult so I’m not interested in selling players.

“We have several quality players but they are happy here. They see the ambitions of the club and it will be difficult for them to go to a bigger club than us and there is a possibility to take this club to a higher level.”

Mandaric says the Owls are looking to make “two to three” new additions during the January transfer window to boost their promotion push,

He said: “We are working very hard. We have a lot of good players so we won’t bring in anyone unless the person can make a difference.

“The key thing is when you bring in players is you’ve got to make improvements. They’ve got to bring in an additional dimension. We’ve got to bring in the right ones.”

Owls moved up to ninth position after Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Nottingham Forest and Mandaric, who has confirmed the club are in discussions with one “serious” group interested in buying the club, is delighted with the progress they have made.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted with how we are doing and I’m not surprised. It was just a matter of everything gelling and playing as a team.

“We are playing very pleasing, passing football. We are creating chances and let’s hope we continue to move up the table.

“We are a very solid team. Stuart [Gray] is doing a good job. I’m very proud of how we are doing and I’m very happy for our supporters. I’m happy when they get the rewards that they deserve.”

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